Not all fats are villains, some fats are in fact necessary for the body to function. If you dread anything with “fat” in it because you want to lose weight, you need to hear this – a category of food called “healthy fats” actually boost weight loss. Like all other macronutrients, fat is also an essential nutrient, needed in an optimum amount, percentage of 20% to 35% of daily calorie intake. In fact, all body cells have fat content and fat constitutes 60% of the human brain. If you are not consuming a good amount of healthy fat, you are hampering brain health. Fat is needed to relay signals through the body and in production of essential hormones. As a survival mechanism, in the absence of carbs, our body switches to fat as an alternative source of energy. Most importantly, fat is absolutely necessary for the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, and E because these are fat-soluble vitamins. Fats such as omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the heart and reduces inflammation in the body, they also raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol. Looking at all these benefits, it’s not a good idea to dread “fats” and switch to “low fat” and “fat free” versions of everything in your diet because you are trying to shed extra weight. In fact, a particular type of fat called linoleic acid found in nuts, seeds, eggs, and meat targets belly fat. Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, found in coconut oil boosts fat burning. So, say “yes” to healthy fats and pick these foods with the best fat content to improve overall health and accelerate weight loss.
1. Chia Seeds: Considered as a “superfood,” chia seeds are gluten free, does not cause insulin spike, and is a good source of fiber as well. There’s more – chia seeds have antioxidants, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. From sprinkling on to salads, puddings, overnight rolled oats, smoothies, to baking it up in bread, there are just endless ways to use chia seeds in daily diet.
2. Eggs: Egg can be considered a complete food – an egg is packed with nutrients. As mentioned earlier, egg has a fat called linoleic acid which targets belly fat. Apart from protein, it also has metabolism-boosting nutrients like B6, B12, A, D, E and K, apart from being a good source of folate, choline, lutein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Avocado: A rich source of healthy fat, avocados lower inflammation, reduces LDL cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, help burn belly fat, and helps in the fat-burning process.
4. Greek Yogurt: A good source of protein, calcium, probiotics and also healthy fats. So, there are four weight-loss boosting nutrients in one single product.
5. Coconut Oil: This oil is rich in saturated fat, but also has lauric acid with medium-chain fatty acids, that increase energy expenditure and burn more calories. The healthy fats in coconut oil also fight belly fat. It helps regulate blood sugar and lower insulin level, and prevent sharp insulin spikes. Insulin, as we all know, is a fat-storage promoting hormone and insulin sensitivity can help with weight loss.
6. Peanut Butter: Peanut and almond butters have protein, fiber, and healthy fats but almond butter has a little more vitamins, iron, and calcium percentages than peanut butter.
7. Walnuts: This delicious nut has a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids than the other nuts. Rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, you need to include this nut in your daily diet.
8. Olive Oil: Did you know olive oil has antioxidants like oleocanthal and oleuropein, that fight free radicals and lower inflammation in the body. Olive oil also has monosaturated fatty acids that promotes fullness and boost metabolism as well.
9. Fatty Fish Like Salmon: The healthy fats and vitamin D in fatty fish like salmon, boost the fat-burning process, target belly fat, and boost metabolism.
10. Dark Chocolate: Nibbling on a few squares of dark chocolate would not hamper your weight loss goals – in fact, the monosaturated fatty acids come under the “healthy fat” category that increases energy expenditure, curbs appetite, and helps reduce stress as well.
Summing up, eliminate bad carbs that contribute to weight gain, and bring back the healthy fats. Experts recommend to have around 20 gm of saturated fat in a 2000-calorie diet, and also you need a fat source for vitamin A, D, E, and K to get absorbed in the body. For more weight loss guidance, you can download the Rati Beauty app and subscribe to the diet plans.