Eating Good Fats To Lose Weight

Fat is commonly blamed for obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol, but not all fats are the culprits. Your body actually needs certain fats to function at its best, and some can even prevent certain diseases.

What are Good Fats?

Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are healthy–and even beneficial–in moderation. Estimate the amount of unsaturated fats in a food by subtracting the grams of saturated and trans-fats from its total fat content.

Mono-unsaturated fats can be found in food or cooking ingredients, such as:

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Canola oil
  • Hazelnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Pecans.

The poly-unsaturated fat Omega-3, a fatty acid, is known to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. It’s being tested as a preventative for certain cancers and as a treatment for neurological disorders in children and adolescents. Poly-unsaturated fats, including Omega-3, can be found in:

  • Corn
  • Fish
  • Flaxseed
  • Sunflower seeds and oil
  • Walnuts.

What are Bad Fats?

Saturated and trans-fats can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. These fats tend to be either synthetic or derived from animal meats and byproducts, such as:

  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Red meat
  • Vegetable oil.

Baked, fried and packaged snack foods often contain these ingredients, although they may appear as “partially hydrogenated oil” on the ingredient list. A recent growing awareness of the health risks associated with trans-fats has led to many companies using alternative ingredients.

Why Fats are Important in Your Diet

The human body uses fatty acids in nearly every one of its functions. Fats are essential to the eye, lungs, brain and heart, including keeping good cholesterol at healthy levels. Low levels of fat can also protect internal organs, insulate nerves and build cell membranes.

To keep your body healthy and high-functioning, ingest healthy levels of good fats. Keep your daily fat intake low, but don’t completely eliminate it, as this could negatively affect certain body functions.

Obesity rates in America have doubled in the past couple decades, coinciding with the low-fat diet movement, as reported by Help Guide (2011). Although we recognize the overall danger of fat, we’re poorly adjusting our diets to reflect knowledge of how to lose weight, which fats and nutrients to consume and how to cut junk food to lose weight.