We’ve all heard it before. Cut out fat consumption to reduce the fat we accumulate in our bodies right? But what’s surprisingly so, is that when you consume ‘new’ fats, it actually rids your body of the ‘old’ fats.
The body requires three macronutrients for energy: Carbohydrates, protein and fat. Fat packs more than twice the energy of the other two macros. The body requires energy to keep its metabolism functioning properly. Without any fat in your diet, there is no energy to burn off those calories.
When new fat is introduced to your body, the ‘old’ stored fat (usually around your thighs and belly) is burned efficiently. Dietary fat helps break down existing fat by activating PPAR-alpha (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha) and fat-burning pathways through the liver.
Monounsaturated fatty acids may also stabilize blood sugar levels according to Mayo Clinic. Fat isn’t the easiest nutrient to digest, leaving it to stay around in the digestive system for longer than many other nutrients. This means that you feel full for longer and won’t need to feel the urge to snack every 30 minutes.
According to a 2008 study in Spain, diets with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid) that the body can only acquire through diet, creates a greater sense of fullness than meals with low levels of the fatty acids. This could be a possible reason why dieters who consume moderate levels of fat are more likely to stick with their meal plans than those who consume lower levels of fat. The result? Weight loss success!
A recent University research from the US indicates that our taste buds can detect fat in food which assists in explaining why low-fat foods do not curb fat cravings. According to this research, what we consider the four main tastes being, sweet, salty, sour and bitter may place fat in a whole new category.
Staying on a positive note, omega-3 fatty acids can boost serotonin levels in the brain, which increases motivation, helping to improve mood and keep you from gorging on oily greasy junk food. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3.5% of women and 2% of men have suffered from diagnosed binge-eating disorders, while millions more people are intermittent emotional eaters.
Many nutrients including vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, which means that the body cannot absorb them without fat. If your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly, that can lead to vitamin deficiencies and potentially cause blindness, brittle bones, dry skin, muscle pains, and abnormal blood clotting.
These vitamins are also key to maintaining energy, focus, and muscle health, all of which contribute to a healthy weight. Vitamin E, for example is a powerful antioxidant and helps maintain your metabolism, while the body’s levels of vitamin D predicts its ability to lose fat, especially in the abdominal region, according to a clinical trial from the University of Minnesota Medical School. So while you can pile your salad high with nutrient-rich spinach, tomatoes and carrots, you really need to thank the olive oil for sending the salad’s vitamins your way.
So what are some of these ‘good’ fats? Avocados, seeds, nuts, flax & chia seeds, spirulina and coconuts (although high in saturated fat, more than half of that comes from lauric acid, a unique medium-chain triglyceride that improves cholesterol scores, battles bacteria, and increases the 24-hour energy expenditure in humans by as much as 5%. Also what’s amazing is that a study published in Lipids found that dietary consumption of coconut oil actually reduced abdominal fat).
Overall it can be concluded that consuming the right fats will not only keep you happy and healthy, but maintain your weight and keep you motivated. So bring on the healthy fats!
- Fetters, K. “Why You Need To Eat Fat To Burn Fat”. LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 June 2017.
- “The Big Fat Truth: Why Non-Fat Isn’t The Answer”. Fitness Magazine. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 June 2017.
- “20 Healthy Fats To Make You Thin | Eat This Not That”. Eat This Not That. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 June 2017.