5 Fats That Do Not Make You Fat
By Liz Perkins
This fall/winter season, you may not want to store fat like the bears and woodchucks getting ready to hibernate. They are currently eating non-stop – acorns, fish, insects, berries, apples – they are consuming as much as possible to put on weight so that they can get through the winter without having to eat at all.
Therefore, your strategy to NOT look or act like a bear this season might be to avoid high calorie foods.
Fats give you 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins only give you 4 calories per gram. You may make the choice to try and always opt for the lower calorie nutrients thinking that you’re doing yourself a favor. It only makes sense, right?
Instead of avoiding ALL fats, you should eat the fats that actually help you to lose fat and will not cause you to gain weight. Wait, what?
Yep, those exist!
It’s okay if you are confused. For so long we’ve been told that fat is bad and we should avoid it. But the truth is, there are different types of fat and the RIGHT kind can actually help you shed the excess fat and bring you closer to your goals (check out what I mean here – “healthy fats” and “bad fats”).
Here are some of the GOOD fats that are specifically meant to help your body burn fat and keep it functioning at its best, especially during the cold months.
5 Fat-Burning Fats To Keep In Your Diet This Season
I know that when the woodchucks eat nuts, it’s intended to keep them plump for the winter, but when YOU eat nuts, it can actually aid in weight-loss. Many studies show that dieters that snack on a handful of nuts lose weight more quickly than those who don’t eat them. The healthy plant fats help to balance blood sugar and help you to feel full for longer. Opt for raw, unsalted to avoid too much sodium or GMO-oils that are so often used in packaged snack-foods.
Seeds provide your body with minerals, phytochemicals and good fats. You may want to try out seed butters, such as tahini or sunflower butter, instead of peanut butter and see how you like them. Not only will you feel satisfied by adding seed butters to your meal, you will improve the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 by swapping out the PB for something else, like Sunny Butter.
Peanut butter has more pro-inflammatory omega-6, which promotes weight gain when over-consumed. We need omega-6 in our diet, but we tend to eat too much of it creating an imbalance to omega-3’s (the anti-inflammatory fat).
3. Coconut Oil
The best way to promote your body’s fat-burning jump start is to include a tablespoon of coconut oil in your morning smoothie, juice, coffee or tea. Your body will go into fat-burning mode due to the medium chain triglycerides in the coconut oil. When your body is burning fat, you feel stable and calm, not jumpy and up and down like you do from sugar highs and lows. Plus, it’s great brain food and promotes a healthy immune system!
4. Olive Oil
As you can see by now, your body needs healthy fats. Olive oil is a great option to drizzle on your greens for better absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients. The beta-carotene in carrots and the chlorophyll in most greens won’t be taken up efficiently by your body if you use a non-fat (or “bad” fat loaded) dressing or steam your greens but fail to add a healthy fat source to gain all the incredible benefits. You need oil to carry the green and orange hues into your body.
Olive oil is especially important for women. Regular olive oil consumption cuts down on breast cancer risk. You also have a lower risk of heart disease if you have olive oil every day. Keep in mind that olive oil is best when consumed RAW (not heated). If you DO choose to cook with it, do not heat over low-medium heat as it becomes rancid and defeats the purpose. Instead, opt to cook with coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, all of which have higher smoke points (that just means they can withstand higher temps without damaging their nutrient profiles).
This nutrient-dense powerhouse fruit will give your body a wide range of vitamins. It is packed with monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid and does a great job of leaving you feeling full and satisfied after only a few bites
Avocado provides more potassium than a banana and 80 mg of folic acid. You will consume more calories when you eat an avocado than if you eat a piece of fruit, but then again, you only get 2 net grams of carbs from eating an avocado plus a ton of incredible benefits your whole body can reap the rewards from.
For every meal, you want to be sure to have at least one source of healthy fats (a good gauge is about 1 oz. of healthy fat for each meal – breakfast, lunch and dinner). Your body needs fat for long-lasting energy and to be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins and plant-based pigments. To top it off, these fats will also provide your body with anti-inflammatory powers and feed your amazing brain! And they have the potential to keep your wasitline in check when paired with a balanced diet, movement and all the other important factors Fitlife.tv advocates for total body wellbeing.
Know any good tips on how to best incorporate these healthy fats into your diet? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
Liz Perkins, MS. is an Integrative Nutrition Cancer Advocate.She is the mom of a leukemia survivor and leads clients through cancer with whole foods, meditations and humor.
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