When people decide that they want to lose weight, the majority of them think that the way they should do that is to virtually cut out fat. Who can blame them when low fat diets are being pushed at us every where we look. But fat is not the enemy and not all fats are equal.
Any time I post that I am eating an avocado, someone will always comment saying “isn’t that high in fat?” Yes, it is fairly high in fat, but it is a super healthy food and one I personally think shouldn’t be avoided. Of course everyone is different, but I ate an avocado pretty much every day all throughout my weight loss. Eating fat does not make you fat – it isn’t as simple as that. Eating way too much fat, just like eating way too much of anything, is what can make you overweight. In fact, many people who follow a low fat diet end up gaining weight and that is because of all the junk that is in low fat products. Just take a look at the ingredients in some of the low fat foods that promote themselves as being healthy and you will see what I mean. Fat adds flavours to things, so when they take the fat out, they add in sugar.
I never recommend cutting out whole food groups, unless a medical condition requires you to, because it can lead to huge cravings of that food group. If you are cutting out avocados because of the fat (despite it being a healthy fat), and you avoid all fats, your body if going to crave fat and you might end up caving in and having a huge greasy burger.
So what fats should you be eating? You should try and stick to unsaturated fats, which are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, as these are healthier than saturated and trans fat. Healthy fats come from oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and many other sources.
Fat can actually help you to lose weight, if that is your goal, so if you are cutting out fat in order to lose weight and you are not seeing the results you had hoped for, then that could be one of the reasons. Why is fat good for weight loss? Well, fat stays in your stomach longer than carbohydrates and protein, so someone who ate a spoonful of peanut butter would stay fuller for longer compared to if they ate the same calories from carbohydrates. This can help you to not overeat.
Fat is not bad and it is an essential part of our diets. Fats controls our hormone levels, steadies our metabolism and it is amazing for your hair and skin. Seriously, the more avocados I eat, the shiner my hair is. Fat also helps to store and transport vitamins A, D, E and K and without fat, these vitamins can’t be used by your body effectively.
Fat is a dense source of energy and has 9 calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein which have 4 calories per gram. You should aim to get around 30% of your daily calories from fat, which is around 70g for women and 90g for men (depending on the individual of course)
It is important to note that many people eat way too much fat and that is why they are overweight, so I am not encouraging you to make up your diet with mostly fats, but also if you are looking to be healthy and lose weight, don’t cut them out totally as they are important. As with all parts of life, you need to find a balance.
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