Each morning when making your eggs, do you find yourself getting into a mess as you meticulously separate the yolks from the whites? When cooking your meats, do you find yourself reaching for the chemical-laden zero calorie sprays for fear of using real oils? If any of the above sounds familiar to you, it may be time to re-think your entire approach to healthy eating, as fats are not the bad guys here. Fats have been demonized for decades as being the root cause of obesity, heart disease, various forms of cancer, hypertension, and countless other ailments and medical conditions as well. In actual fact however, many fats out there do not deserve the negative press that they are getting, as they have been found to be very good for us. The problem that people tend to have with fats, is not being able to distinguish between the different varieties. Some fats are good, and some fats such as trans fats, are notoriously bad for us. If however, you place an emphasis on getting enough good fats inside your body on a daily basis, the benefits will quickly become apparent. One such benefit will be a leaner and slimmer physique. Yes you did read that correctly, by eating fats, we can actually burn fat, and here’s a look at how.
Fat enhances your metabolism
Your metabolism is responsible for basically taking calories from the foods we consume, and from body fat we have stored, and converting it into glucose, which the body uses as a primary source of energy. Have you ever noticed how some people out there can seemingly eat as much junk food as they like, and barely gain a single ounce of fat, yet others seem to gain weight without even trying? This is down to their metabolic functions, as the more efficient your metabolism is, the harder you find it to gain weight, and the easier you’ll find it to lose weight, and vice versa. Healthy fats however, have been found to speed up and enhance the metabolism, and therefore enhance fat loss. Healthy fats have been found to stimulate the production of fat-burning hormones known as adipokines, which the fat cells actually secrete themselves. One form of these hormones is one known as adiponectin, which has been proven to take stored body fat, and help the metabolism to burn it off much quicker, thereby helping to convert it into energy. Diets low in fat will result in low levels of adiponectin, which means you will struggle to burn fat.
Fat energizes your body
As we just looked at, healthy dietary fats help to speed up the metabolism and make your body more efficient at burning off stored body fat. Not only is this great for burning fat right from the start, it also helps your body to generate more energy, so you feel more energized and alert. The more energy you have, the more active you will become, and the more active you are, the more calories you will burn off, so you get two benefits for the price of one.
Fats can replace carbs
There are three essential macronutrients required by the human body, and they are: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Each person requires a certain percentage of these macros, meaning that everything will have to make a total of 100%. If you consume larger percentages of one form of macro however, to counterbalance this, you must reduce your intakes of the other. This is why individuals following higher fat diets, will consume lower levels of carbohydrates, as fats displace the carbs. This is ideal for fat loss because less carbs means lower insulin levels, which basically means your body will find it much easier to readily access your body fat stores to be used as energy, in much larger dosages. It also means that more fat can make its way into your muscle cells, where it basically replaces carbohydrates, and acts as an energy source instead.
Fats increase satiety levels
Hunger is one of the biggest obstacles we need to overcome when we’re trying to lose weight, or even maintain our weight for that matter. If you find yourself constantly feeling hungry, no matter how hard you try, there will seemingly be nothing you can do to take your mind off of the hunger. This generally means you either have to suffer and sit there starving hungry, or you will give in to your cravings and will grab something to eat, which could potentially ruin your diet. The great thing about fats however, is the fact that they have been proven to increase satiety levels, which basically means that they keep us feeling full for longer. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, as opposed to 4 calories like those found in protein and carbs, so fat keeps us going for longer. As we will feel full for longer after we consume fats, we will be less likely to become hungry, so we won’t suffer from hunger pains and cravings. As you know, sticking to a diet is a million times easier if you aren’t feeling hungry, so make sure you reach for those healthy fats.
Fats improve nutrient absorption rates
Many people who follow low fat diets, actually find themselves deficient in certain nutrients. Despite the fact that they may use vitamin and mineral supplements, and they may consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, these individuals may still be deficient in many nutrients, and it is all down to a lack of fat in the diet. You see, certain vitamins and minerals are only fat-soluble, which means that can only be broken down and absorbed by the body, in the presence of fat. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat soluble, which means that minerals such as calcium – which relies on vitamin D for bone absorption, are also fat soluble. You could consume all of the multi-vitamin supplements you wanted, but without fat, those vitamins would simply not be absorbed by the body, so they would simply go to waste.