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Can I lose weight while eating fat? Can I eat fat and lose weight? The answer is yes. However, there is a “but”: it depends on the type of fat we are talking about. Continue reading, I will expand on this below 😉
Whether we talk about the maintenance of optimal health or we refer to the particular case of weight loss, the truth is that fat has been very demonized. Nonetheless, the recommendation that the daily intake of fat should not exceed 30-35% is being increasingly questioned (Bazzano et al., 2014). In fact, astrophysicist and author of the “Perfect Health Diet”, Paul Jaminet, Dr. Ron Rosedale (expert in nutritional and metabolic medicine) and osteopathic physician Joseph Mercola claim that claim that the ideal diet should include between 50 and 70 percent of healthy fats (Jaminet, Jaminet, & Sisson, 2013, p. 39; Mercola, 2011; R. Rosedale & Colman, 2009, p. 8). And the fact is that we need fat to preserve the integrity of our skin, control inflammatory processes, nourish our immune, hormonal and nervous systems; and, let’s not forget that is essential for us to burn energy (Ron Rosedale, 2013).
But, What Kind Of Fats Can I Consume?
As I said in another post (mete link de can I lose weight without dieting?), the quality of the fat you eat is more important for your health and your weight than the quantity. The healthy fats are the ones called unsaturated fats, with its two types: mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated (for its acronym in English, MUFAs and PUFAs, respectively).
As far as the benefits for your health are concerned, mono-unsaturated fats have an advantage over the poly-unsaturated. Your body needs in greater amounts and uses more easily mono-unsaturated fats; these fats have been acknowledged as the most healthy or neutral. Examples of mono-unsaturated fats are:
- Olive oil
- Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts, pistachios, chestnuts, cashews, peanuts
- Eggs (organic or free range, preferably)
Eat this type of fat without feeling guilty. In addition to its delicious flavor you will be assisting your body in diminishing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the good (HDL); your blood pressure and the inflammatory processes in your body will also decrease and you will protect yourself against diverse types of cancer.
As for poly-unsaturated fats, the main ones are the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3. Your body needs them – although in relatively small quantities – for the growth of cells and the correct functioning of the brain. These fatty acids are not produced by the body so you can only get them through food. Food and oils with high amounts of polyunsaturated fats include:
- Pine nut
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore or longfin tuna and trout
- Flax seeds and linseed oil
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Cod liver oil
And What Happens With The So Slandered Saturated Fats?
Recent research dissociates saturated fat intake with increased cardiovascular risk (P. Siri-Tarino, Q. Sun, F. Hu, & R. Krauss, 2010; P. W. Siri-Tarino, Q. Sun, F. B. Hu, & R. M. Krauss, 2010). The tissues of our body are made up mostly of monounsaturated and saturated fats; therefore, we need more of this type of fats. So do not be afraid to add to your diet the following delicacies:
- Coconut and coconut oil
- Butter (if it’s organic, much better). Also Ghee (clarified butter)
- Meat (from grass-fed livestock, preferably)
- Dairy products: natural, Greek and/or Turkish yoghurt without sweeteners or added sugars (in the ingredients list, you should read only: milk and lactic ferments or live active cultures); kéfir, cottage cheese (again, in the label you should read only the ingredients that I’ve told you, nothing else) and goat and sheep cheese.
Run Away From These Fats!
You should think twice before putting in your mouth the so-called trans fats. These are a type of liquid vegetable fat which has been subjected to a chemical-industrial process of hydrogenation so as to get a more solid and less oily texture (have you ever wondered why the chocolate layer that covers a bun doesn’t melt completely in your hand?) The harmful effect of this fat on human health has been more than demonstrated. It has no nutritional value, increases bad cholesterol and, therefore, the risk of cardiovascular disease. The consumption of this type of fat is linked to the inflammatory processes associated with atherosclerosis and it also increases the risk of diabetes, among others. So, each time you read trans fat, hydrogenated fat or vegetable oil (partially) hydrogenated in the ingredients’ label: flee!
Some examples of foods high in trans fats are: industrial biscuits and pastries, popcorn for the microwave (better if you buy corn and make it yourself at home), pizzas and frozen and pre-cooked products, ready-to-use icings and margarine. Today, people are still surprised when you tell that it is much healthier eating butter than margarine. Just because of what I have discussed above: butter is rich in saturated fats, which have been proven not to be harmful for your cardiovascular health. In contrast, margarine is an artificial amalgam of chemicals and liquid vegetable oils that have been subjected to a process of hydrogenation; your body will suffer much trying to process such a bad imitation of food 🙁
I hope this information will help you to make more conscious choices. Our body keeps us alive, we should thank this wonderful task by doing our best in taking care of it, don´t you think so? You see, in the end it is not a matter of weight but health 😉 And, what about you? What do you think of all this? Don’t be afraid of commenting below 😉
Bazzano, L. A., Hu, T., Reynolds, K., Yao, L., Bunol, C., Liu, Y., . . . He, J. (2014). Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat DietsA Randomized TrialEffects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. Annals of Internal Medicine, 161(5), 309-318. doi: 10.7326/m14-0180
Jaminet, P., Jaminet, S. C., & Sisson, M. (2013). Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat: Scribner.
Mercola, J. (2011). Para Lograr una Salud Optima, Coma del 50% al 70% de Este Alimento Frecuentemente “Condenado”. Retrieved from Mercola.com website: http://espanol.mercola.com/boletin-de-salud/lo-que-usted-no-sabe-sobre-las-grasas.aspx
Rosedale, R., & Colman, C. (2009). The Rosedale Diet: HarperCollins.
Siri-Tarino, P., Sun, Q., Hu, F., & Krauss, R. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(3), 535-546. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. Epub 2010 Jan 13
Siri-Tarino, P. W., Sun, Q., Hu, F. B., & Krauss, R. M. (2010). Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(3), 502-509. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26285