Do you know a healthy diet should contain some amount of fat?
Fats are considered as an important component of a healthy diet. Thus, most of the foods we eat contain some fat. But while some foods, such as vegetables and fruits contain hardly any fat, other foods such as oils, nuts and beef contain lots of fat.
Understand fats to help put you on the quickest way to lose weight
Generally speaking, fats can be grouped into 2 classes. They can either be saturated fat or unsaturated fat with different amounts of both types being found in most foods.
Most fats found in animal foods, including meat, milk and cheese belong to this group. The amount of fat in the food varies according to the type. Thus, red meat for example, contains more saturated fat than fish and poultry. They are usually solid at room temperature.
By their composition, the body takes a longer time to process saturated fat and eating too much of this type of fat raises cholesterol levels and can also increase the possibility of getting certain diseases including the likelihood of a heart attack. They can also contribute significantly to weight gain, leading to overweight and obesity.
For a healthy diet therefore, it is highly recommended the amount of saturated fat should be kept to the absolute minimum. The British Dietetic Association, for example, recommends that the maximum intake of saturated fat for the average man should be 30 grams a day, while that for an average woman should be 20 grams a day.
Unsaturated fats can help you lose weight quickly
Most come from plants and they stay liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are classified as either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.
These come mostly from vegetable oil. Sources include almond, olive, peanut and canola. Monounsaturated fats have the ability to lower cholesterol levels and can help reduce the possibility to getting a heart attack, for example.
This is also mainly found in vegetable oils. Sources include sunflower, corn and soybean, as well as soybeans. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the 2 types of this fat and they have the ability to lower cholesterol .
Omega-3 fatty acids
These are obtained from oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and pacific oysters, and also, from plant foods including flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and soybean oil. It is recommended a healthy diet should include not less than 8 ounces of these fish types every week. This will amount to about 250mg of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids
These are usually obtained from liquid vegetable oils such as corn and soybean oils
Does your body need fats?
Our body obtains different amounts of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fat, with fat providing 9kcal or 37kJ per gram. Fat plays a very important role in the development of a healthy body. Fat performs quite a number of important functions. These include:
- it is one of the most important sources of energy for the body,
- vitamins that are fat-soluble can only be broken down and moved around in combination with fat. Such vitamins include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K,
- serves as a protective layer for the nerves and organs. By so doing, it helps to maintain body temperature and protect the body organs against unexpected shocks, etc. This keeps the cells including the skin and the eyes in very healthy condition,
- fat provides the body with essential fatty acids which are regarded as a very important dietary need, helps to protect the body against various diseases.
As can be seen, fat is required by the body for protection and to help it to perform as expected. However, eating too much fat can lead to obesity and raise the risk of catching various diseases. For a healthy lifestyle, the aim should be to reduce the amount of foods that contain high levels of saturated fat. Such foods include
various meat product such as sausages and pies;
- fatty meat;
- lard and butter;
- hard cheese;
- ice cream;
- french fries;
- chocolate confectionery;
- cakes and pastries.
For a healthy lifestyle or if you are aiming to lose weight quickly, your goal should be to eat more foods with high levels of unsaturated fat. These may include among others
- seed s and nuts;
- oily fish including sardines, salmon and mackerel;
- vegetable oils such as olive oil and sun flower oil;
- fruits and veggies.
Strategies to help you eat less fat
To help you avoid the temptation of eating more fat than is necessary, you can try some of these:
- Most foods carry nutrition labels. Reading and understanding the label can help you choose foods that are low in fat contents;
- always opt for lean meat;
- white meat, such as chicken and turkey, contain less fat and are healthier. Remove the skin from such meat before cooking;
- semi-skimmed or better still, skimmed milk and low-fat cheese are always better choices. Their fat content is very low, yet, they contain all the necessary nutrients;
- grilling, steaming, baking, poaching or simmering food and meat are always better than frying or roasting,
- remDove as much fat as you can from meat before cooking,
- grill all meat rather than frying;
- to help reduce the amount of oil you use when cooking, measure with a tablespoon or measuring cup rather than pouring the oil straight into the saucepan;
- reduce the intake of red meat and replace this with more beans, and vegetables;
- butter and spread in sandwiches hardly serve any purpose. Thus you can leave them out or reduce them to the thinnest layer or spread;
- for snacks, go for peanuts or other types of nuts. They will help suppress your appetite and help you to lose weight quickly as well.
The suggestions above can help put you on the quickest way to lose weight and help put you on the road to healthy living.
Fat is a source of high energy levels for the body. It is recommended your daily fat intake should not be more than 30% of your calories. Thus for an average man whose recommended daily calorie requirement is 2,500 calories, only about 750 of this should come from fat; while the average woman’s should be 600 out of the recommended 2,000 calories. If you are trying to lose weight fast, then you should aim at reducing the percentage. A lower percentage will help put you on the quickest way to lose weight and also make the weight loss permanent
The list above is by no means exhaustive but it can give you a good starting point to build on. We will be happy to read other suggestions you may have. You can use the form below for any comments you may have. And, please share this on your social media platforms if you find this post of any use.