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How eating fat can actually be good for your over all health and well-being
Your body uses healthy fat from food in lots of different ways. It helps your body to feel more full after eating. Healthy fat’s like avocado, tree nuts, dark chocolate, olive oil, whole eggs, fish, coconut and coconut oil, and seeds are vital for a healthy body, and easy to incorporate into meals and snacks.
Our brains are over 60% fat, and function off of mostly cholesterol, which is fat. Our skin needs fat. Our muscles can use carbs and fat to build muscle tissue after a workout.
Bottom line is, your body needs fat. Let’s talk about this.
How does eating fat help you lose weight?
To lose fat you need to eat fat.
Doesn’t that sound SUPER contradictory?
It’s true though. Fat actually makes us feel fuller, so we eat less. Fat is dense, and therefore makes us feel like we have eaten more, even though we might have only had a handful of walnuts or pecans.
It is a great idea to use healthy fats for snacks between meals, especially when trying to lose weight. Eating tree nuts, 70% or higher dark chocolate (because its low in sugar), or avocado on toast are great ways to keep you full throughout the day.
When looking for products that have good fat for snacks or meals, you want to look at the amount of sugar. If I buy a dark chocolate bar that has fruit or anything else in it, I always check the sugar count. The reason that I typically will not eat white or milk chocolate is that it is basically watered down with sugar and milk, and increases the less desirable fat from the sugar and lactose. Plain dark chocolate at 75% with sea salt is my all time favorite!
This book “Smart Fat” talks about the health benefits that adding fat to your diet, and how to implement it into your lifestyle.
What about “no fat” or “low fat” products?
One of the dieting fads (which I also talked about in my post 3 dieting myths that are keeping you from losing weight) that I dislike the most is the “low fat/ not fat” fad. FAT IS NOT BAD.
You do actually NEED it.
Cutting fat from your diet will likely make you feel sluggish, tired and unmotivated. As time goes on I’ve seen more articles online about the negative effects of eating a low-fat diet, including increased hormonal imbalance, trouble sleeping, and weight gain.
An article by Dr. Becky Gillaspy talks about the benefits of adding healthy fat to your diet and how it also works to benefit your hormones.
“Fats are the basic building blocks of your cell membranes. These fatty membranes surround every cell and act as the border patrol allowing the right balance of hormones to enter your cells.”
What is the difference in fats?
There are different types of fat, healthy fat and fat that comes from sugar and lard products. The later are fats that you don’t need.
Products like sweets and desserts (that are not organic or naturally produced), margarine and butter, milk and white chocolate, and even some good products like processed peanut butter can have bad fat that your body doesn’t need, and can be a cause of weight gain. A lot of food that is processed has something called trans fat in it that your body does not need. The less ingredients on the packaging of your food the better, and if you can pronounce it or don’t know what it is, you shouldn’t put it in the cart.
As a basic rule of thumb, healthy fat is found in nature.
Brain function + fat
Lastly, I want to talk about brain function. Like I said earlier, our brains are 60% fat. They need the nutrients in fat to function properly and keep us alert and awake.
So something I find really interesting is that walnuts are probably one of the BEST nuts for brain health, and their shells sort of look like a brain…
Do you ever feel super mentally drained even when you haven’t done much? I know I have, and its usually because I haven’t been focused on my diet and nutrition enough. Eating high fat foods isnt enough though, you need to be feeling your brain the right kind of fat…
“The brain is picky and requires large amounts of the omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). If you don’t give the brain these fats, it will use whatever fats are available to it from your diet, but it won’t work the same. It’s like trying to use an energy drink instead of gasoline in your car. You can put it in there, but your car isn’t going to work right.”-By Heather Pratt, MNT, BCHN
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are vital for good brain function and health, and you can usually find these in fish oil and krill oil, which can be found in most natural health, vitamin stores and pharmacies.
Hope this helps you on your daily journey, and as always, have a healthy day!
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Author of a Natural Endeavor