“Fat makes us fat!” At least that’s what many people think. But the reality is pretty far from that…
Obviously some fats are bad for you, your weight and your health, but the main types of fat are actually essential to your health and can help you get lean, healthy and vibrant!
Indeed, consuming good fats can have many benefits on your body, such as increasing fat burning, reducing hunger and even reducing fat storage.
So how does it work?
Eating high-quality fats will help your body develop healthy cell walls, allowing for a better ability to metabolize insulin, which lead to having a proper blood sugar control.
What are good fats and what are their benefits?
There are two types of good fats:
–Monounsaturated fats: a study in the 1960s found that people living in Greece or around the Mediterranean Sea had a lower rate of heart disease, despite their high-fat diet. The researchers explained that they had a high consumption of olive oil, which mainly contains monounsaturated fat.
Where are they found? In olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and sunflower oils
–Polyunsaturated fats: those are essential fats that your body needs for basic body functions, such as blood clotting, muscle movement, building of cell membranes, etc.
They are divided in two categories: Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, as well as in flaxseeds and walnuts; and Omega-6 fatty acids, mainly present in vegetable oils.
Their consumption is linked to a number of benefits, including helping in the prevention of heart disease and strokes. But that’s not all, they also help reduce the blood pressure and are believed to prevent your heart rhythms from rising to a lethal level.
Even better, while fatty foods are often believed to be responsible for heart attack, it is actually the opposite if your intake of fatty food mainly involves the good fats mentioned above. Indeed, good fats are responsible for raising HDL (high density lipoprotein) while lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein, also known as ”bad cholesterol”, which is responsible for clogging the arteries).
What about the “bad fats”?
The worst type of fats you can consume is trans fat, which are created during food processing. They mostly appear in junk foods, from commercial cookies, biscuits and pastries, to fast-food fries and burgers.
How do they affect your body?
Firstly, they are responsible for a raise in the amount of LDL, and a decrease in HDL; which put you at a greater risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. And get this – studies were also able to link the consumption of trans fat with the apparition of conditions such as heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
The worst part is that you don’t have to consume a lot of it to get such bad effects: a research from the Harvard School of Public Health indicated: “for every 2% of calories for trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%”.
So, what actually makes us fat? Sugar!
Consuming high quantities of sugar causes the body to become resistant to insulin’s call; which means that your body will gradually secrete more and more insulin, to try and lower your blood sugar levels. However, eventually, your body will not be able to burn all that sugar, and will end up storing it as fat.
This is one of the main reasons low-fat diets rarely worked: firstly because by cutting on fats, you not only cut on bad fats, but also on the good fats that are essential in the good functioning of your body.
Secondly, to compensate with the lack of fat, those diets tend to be high in sugar, which, as explained above, are the one responsible for putting weights on.
Here is a list for you of good fats, which will benefit your health:
– Nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc. except peanuts)
– Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
– Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, trout)
– Extra virgin olive oil and coconut butter
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