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Fats For Weight Loss | They’re Not All Created Equal

Eat fat to burn fat, right?!  Absolutely however there is a small caveat. When it comes to fats for weight loss not all fats are created equal.  When you’re following the ketogenic lifestyle your diet is made up of at least 60% HEALTHY fats.

Some of them are actually good for you and you need to consume fat to stay alive and healthy. Certain vitamins can only be absorbed by the body if consumed with some sort of fat. And there are various parts of your body, including your heart that need fat to run smoothly and stay healthy.

On the surface it makes sense to cut fat from your diet when you want to lose excess body fat and has been the basis behind every single diet from 1950 to 1990.

It lead to the growth and sale of countless low fat and fat free foods that still fill our grocery stores today. The belief of eating low fat has become deeply rooted into our collective cultural conscious. The only problem is that it didn’t work.

Can lose weight on a low calorie, low fat diet? Yes you can. I did and plenty of people have done it. But it takes a lot of willpower, and the vast majority of people can’t stick to it long term.

They end up giving up and gaining more weight back then they lost in the first place. Our bodies are genetically engineered to crave fat. It’s what keeps us going, keeps us warm, and keeps up our energy levels.

While fat does have a lot more calories than the same amount of carbs or protein, it takes a long time to digest fat. It keeps us full and satisfied much longer than any other type of food.

Does that mean you should go on a bacon and butter diet with a sprinkle of deep fried foods? Of course not. First off, we need to strive for balance and shouldn’t compensate for our past low fat diets that only made us fatter by overindulging in fats.

Balance is the name of the game when it comes to healthy fats for weight loss. Secondly, not all fats are created equal.

While there is still a lot to be learned about fats and the role they play in the many chemical process that take place in our bodies, we know that some fats are better for us than others.

I’m sure you’ve heard of saturated fats, unsaturated fats, trans fats, and mono-unsaturated fats. Stay away from mostly man-made Trans Fats. There’s been a big push in this direction and it’s a good thing.

Good Fats 

Saturated fats

This one was villainized for years, but it’s one of the best fats for the body because of how it works to increase our GOOD cholesterol.  These tasty fats are found in grass-fed red meat, organic butter, ghee, 100% lard, organic heavy cream, and coconut/MCT oil.

Monounsaturated fats

Avocados with leaves on a white backgroundThe main fat you want to increase is mono-unsaturated fats. These types of fats will help lower your bad cholesterol and increase the good one. They will help your body repair itself and run at its best. Think of it as high performance fuel for your body. You can find this healthy type of fat in avocados, coconut oil, olives and olive oil to name a few.

Monounsaturated fats help regulate blood sugar, repair insulin resistance, improve skin and reduce belly fat.  Avocados, avocado oil, macadamia nuts, macadamia nut oil, almonds, and cold-pressed olive oil are your most popular ketogenic sources of monounsaturated fats.  Eat up!

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats or “PUFAs,” are only good fats when they come from natural sources.  This is where those yummy fatty fishes like salmon and fish oil are great additions to your clients’ weekly intake.  Those are also great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated fats and, as long as your clients are not sensitive to chia seeds, make a pretty awesome ketogenic pudding.

Transfats

Wait, I thought those were REALLY bad?  Yes, they are, but there are some naturally-occurring transfats in organic, grass-fed meats and organic dairy products.  Those natural transfats actually help to prevent cancer and reduce obesity!

Bad Fats

Fat woman wearing sportswear while pushing a chalkboard with text of unhealthy eating, isolated on white backgroundNow onto the fats to avoid – and why…

The following oils are polyunsaturated fats, however, they are HIGHLY processed in very high heat which produces free radicals.  During the processing, a lot of chemicals have been added, many of which are genetically modified.

They are very inflammatory, lead to poor gut health and an increased risk of cancer, have WAY more Omega-6 than Omega-3 fatty acids, and will actually block the ability to burn fat.  

Sunflower oil
Safflower oil, cottonseed oil
Canola oil
Soybean oil
Corn oil
Peanut oil
Sesame oil, and grapeseed oil
Processed foods containing these oils: vegan spreads, margarine, vegetable oil, vegetable shortening.
Transfats – artificially created ones: cookies, crackers, cakes, donuts

These increased risk of heart disease, bad cholesterol, and high triglycerides.

How To Use Good Fats For Weight Loss

Not all fats are created equal. Use the right oils like the ones on this dark still life with canvasLet’s talk about the good fats  and how to use them in cooking, baking, and adding flavor to life:

Smoke point: this is the the point in which a fat will begin to release free radicals. Free radicals are bad stuff.  They are associated with a lot of disorders affecting every vital organ in the body. The higher the smoke point, the better that oil is to heat (roast, fry, grill, saute, etc.)

I am going to list the fats from highest to lowest in smoke point, along with their health benefits:

Refined avocado oil (also lowers blood sugar)
Refined olive oil (antioxidants and anti inflammatory)
Ghee (pure butter fat – milk solids removed – so this is a Paleo fat and good for most people who are dairy-sensitive)
Palm kernel oil (antioxidants, high in Vitamin K for bone health)
Palm fruit oil (blood circulation, reduces blood pressure)
Hazelnut oil (magnesium to alleviate muscle cramps, vitamin E)
Grass-fed tallow (fat found around the organs, CLA – reduced risk of cancer & heart disease)
Macadamia nut oil (phytonutrients, fights cancer, improves circulation reduces LDLp)
Duck fat (reduces LDLp, assist in cardiovascular health
Cacao butter (reduce cellular damage)
Lard/bacon grease (Vitamin D)
Grass-fed butter (best for baking purposes
Omega-3, Vitamin D)
Coconut oil (⅔ of fat content is MCT, which are easily digested and are sent straight to the liver to be used for energy)
EVOO (use on salads b/c lower smoke point, antioxidants)
MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides, used immediately for energy, great for morning coffee/smoothie, improves mitochondrial function and reduces fatty liver disease).

The most important lesson I want you to take away from this post is that fat isn’t bad for you. Not all fats are created equal. Some sources of fat are better for you than others, but overall, it’s not the enemy we so long though it was.

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