Traditionally, the macronutrient fat has gotten a bad rap for causing weight gain, inciting panic that it should be left out of a healthy diet in order to actually see weight loss results. The name may be misleading, but fats are actually essential for a well-balanced diet, and can in fact help you to lose weight with ease while offering a variety of vitamins to support your lifestyle.
Now, a high-fat diet has begun to gain recognition as one which can be beneficial for achieving certain health goals, even leading to successful weight loss without depriving the body. Finding a balance of macronutrients is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re consuming meals which will satiate you, but in particular, experts agree that eating an array of healthy fats is essential for weight loss.
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Creating meals with a balance of macronutrients allows you to make sure you’re eating enough vitamins and minerals each day which will help to boost your metabolism. This can also help to increase satiety after meals, effectively reducing your inclination towards snacking and making it easier to create a calorie deficit. Healthy fats are particularly useful for keeping you full, making them vital for weight loss as you’re consuming more quality foods to nourish your body. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News health and nutrition editor tells Today, “Adding a small amount of fat to a meal helps slow down the rate at which your stomach empties during digestion. And the longer some food remains in your stomach, the longer the sense of fullness lasts — sending that signal to your brain.”
The keto diet has risen in popularity over the last several years, limiting carbohydrate intake while simultaneously upping fats. This diet, while not for everyone, has proven to be effective for weight loss by placing the body into “ketosis,” where you’re more likely to increase fat burn and boost your metabolism for an easier time losing weight. “It is important to note that a ketogenic diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrate consumption therefore forcing the body to use stored fat as its primary source of fuel,” explains Dr. Gretchen San Miguel, MD. “By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with increased fat intake, you will put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. During ketosis, your body becomes efficient at burning fat as its primary fuel source (vs. carbohydrates).”
If a low-carb diet doesn’t sound like something that interests you, you can still reap the benefits of consuming more fats without restricting other aspects of your eating plan. In particular, including fats such as avocado, fish, and nuts in your diet are all great ways to give your body some added nutrients that can make a meaningful difference in your body. Salmon is especially healthy if you’re going the seafood route for upping your fat intake. “The omega-3s in salmon help improve cardiovascular, brain health and cognitive function, as well as reduce inflammation and boost immunity. Salmon delivers a heart-healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids (essential for a healthy heart, brain and eyes) and choline (for brain development and memory),” says Rima Kleiner MS, RD, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist at Dish on Fish.
In order to have a healthy and meaningful relationship with food and your body, it’s important not to fear certain food groups and trust that everything can have a place in your diet as you work to achieve weight loss. Healthy fats, while previously avoided for fear of weight gain, should actually be at the center of your diet in order to keep you full, boost your metabolism, and even improve your cardiovascular health so that in combination with a balanced lifestyle you can feel great in your body. From avocado toast to seafood and everything in between, healthy fats are the cornerstone for becoming the best version of yourself.