When most people think of high fat foods they think of things like fried foods, cheeseburgers, pizza, ice-cream, and bacon…(in best Homer Simpson voice* MMMMMM Bacon, aaaaaaaaaaggggggguu) but not all fats are really bad for you, in fact, a low fat diet might be causing you to miss out on some important health benefits.
A lot of people make the mistake of believing that cutting out fat is the best way to lose weight and get healthy, but less fat often means more carbs to take their place. I know going on a low fat diet takes some initiative, and you have to be smart to take care of your health, but there are few things you should know before giving into the low-fat fad.
Not only can a diet with moderate to high amounts of fat still be healthy, but it can actually be more healthy than a low fat diet…the trick is finding out the right kinds of fat to eat in order to make the most of your fat intake.
Some of the healthy fats that I am referring to can be found in nuts, seeds, fish, dark chocolate, coconuts, olive oil, and avocados; keep reading to find out the benefits of healthy fats and where to get them.
Benefits of high fat diet
Fats are an essential part of the human diet. Diets lower in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats can increase insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation, increase fat burning, and help balance cholesterol levels into better proportions.
Fat also helps you feel full for longer which helps prevent overeating, it balances hormones in the body, and it helps to stabilize mood and prevent depression. Fats are also needed to absorb nutrients and a popular way of boosting nutrient absorption is to take your vitamins with a small amount of fat.
Studies on high fat and low carbohydrate diets aren’t new (you can read more here).
One of the main things I noticed when I personally started eating a lot more fat was that my body composition changed. Studies have shown that people who eat 2 handfuls of nuts each day while dieting lost more weight than people who didn’t eat the nuts each day.
Healthy fats: where can you find them.
Avocados: Have a ton of health benefits but their monounsaturated levels are what makes them a really great as a healthy fat source. Many studies have shown that diets high in avocados lowered bad cholesterol (LDL) and raised levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, etc.): Studies have shown that people who eat nuts while dieting lose more fat that people who don’t eat nuts while dieting. Nuts are also high in monounsaturated fats.
Seeds (chia, sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, flax): Most seeds are high in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids that help promote joint and brain health and fight inflammation.
Fish: Is naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can help lower cholesterol and fight inflammation in the body.
Olive oil: Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy and help balance cholesterol levels.
Coconut (oil, milk, raw fruit): Coconut oil is primarily composed of special fats called Medium-chain triglyceride; these MCTs are an excellent source of energy for the body and are burned readily as fuel when compared to other forms of fat. These fatty acids are thought to encourage fat burning, boost metabolism, and provide direct fuel to the brain.
Dark Chocolate: Full of antioxidants and minerals, dark chocolate also has healthy forms of saturated fat that can actually help protect your heart.
Butter: may have saturated fat, but it is primarily composed of MCTs and SCTs which can help lower cholesterol and raise HDL to healthy levels. When looking for a great butter, try Kerrigold an irish brand of butter from 100% grassfed cows!
Don’t cut fats out completely!
Maybe cutting out bacon, limiting red meat, and eating lower fat meats is a good idea, but don’t skip out on the healthy fats you can find in olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, butter, dark chocolate, and coconut.
These fats are healthy and offer many health benefits. So stop demonizing fat, besides, fat is your friend!
If you are interested in motivation or personal support with your fitness and health goals, check out my personal coaching packages or my free motivation mini-course!