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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

How Fat Makes You Thin

"Crack open more eggs," "Drink whole milk over skim," and "Eat fat, lose fat!" Whereas those statements do not seem to fit the mold of most diet recommendations, they are starting to break the barriers against the fear of fat. In fact, there is ongoing suggestions that fat is actually not fattening and can benefit health, even showing to help you lose weight and get thin results.

How Fat Makes You Thin

How "Fat" Makes You Thin

Although the concept of eating fat to get thin results seemed completely barbaric not quite long ago, nutrition experts are now commonly trying to dim the fear of feat. First off, fat is one of the three macronutrients needed in a balance diet, with carbohydrate and protein being the other two. And compared to the two macronutrients that provides four calories per gram, fat provides nine. But before becoming discouraged by the caloric density, here us out...

Particularly when compared to sugary foods that cause hunger spikes, fat lends greater satiety value and when included in meals, you are more likely to feel full and less likely to overeat. The inclusion of dietary fat can also help balance out critical hormones (including for hunger regulation), diminish cravings, rev up metabolism and energy levels, and combat against heart disease and additional health conditions. But despite the newness of the erupting recommendations, the research really is not so new. In fact, a high-fat Mediterranean diet has gifted great benefits for centuries, including weight loss, diabetes management, anti-aging, and supportive of heart and brain health.

Eat (This) Fat, Lose Weight

Nonetheless, not all fats are the same and some lend greater beneficial gains than others. Unlike saturated and trans fats that may actually contribute to heart disease, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), and omega-3 fatty acids work to reverse it and demonstrate significant health benefits identified above. In addition to balancing the diet with complex carbs and lean proteins, include these healthy fat sources:

Unlike most fruits recognized as carbohydrate sources, avocados are acknowledged for their heart-healthy monounsaturated fat content. And paired with their fiber content, avocadoes may shed unwanted weight by greatly stimulating satiety. And rather than opting for a sugar-laden dessert, try this creamy, guilt-free avocado ice cream!

Especially if selecting lean cuts such as tenderloin, beef may not be as fat laden as popularly believed. Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc, beneficial for preserving muscle mass and oxygenating the blood. And compared to grainfed, grassfed beef varieties have shown to gift greater omega-3 fatty acids and supplementary valuable nutrients.

Dark Chocolate
Not only can that chocolate craving be kicked, but done so in a nutritious manner! Though you should still remain cautious of added sugars and stick to appropriate portions, going for dark chocolate and cocoa product boasts with healthy fats and antioxidants.

While cholesterol-containing eggs cracked worry in the past, present research suggests to not shy away from the egg or yolk. In fact, even the marginal saturated fat contributed becomes overruled by the protein and additional nutrients eggs supply. Eggs are even suggested to contain the highest quality of protein you can buy, while the yolks are one of the very few food sources naturally supplying vitamin D. They are also a valuable source of choline, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, selenium, phosphorus, and some B vitamins.

Fatty Fish
Salmon, trout, tuna, herring, and mackerel are significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. But choosing whole food over fish oil supplements may reap higher benefits; and whereas evidence is conflicting on their value, they are generally still considered safe.

Full-Fat Milk and Dairy Products
Although choosing low-fat milk and dairy products was encouraged not long ago, newer evidence implies selecting whole and full-fat may offer weight control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Even aside from the fat content, milk and dairy products are a significant source of calcium and protein, offering bone and muscle preservation.

Nuts and Seeds
From classic pecans to new-school watermelon seeds, nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fat sources and fat-soluble vitamins. Almonds are also touted as one of the best foods for weight loss as agreeing research was effective in decreasing body weight compared to following a complex carbohydrate-enriched LCD.

Olive Oil
Swapping out butter and margarine for olive oil is suggested to lessen both saturated and trans fats while increasing monounsaturated fatty acid content. Olive oil can positively influence your weight loss efforts by increasing satiety levels, along with proving to support heart health and manage blood sugars.

Peanut Butter
Like nuts, peanut butter and other nut butters are excellent healthy fat sources. Just be sure to check out the ingredient label when picking a nut butter, selecting products that only contain the nut and maybe a little salt and avoiding ones with added oils and sugars.

Also known as edamame, soybeans are well-known plant-based protein and fiber content, but their MUFA and PUFA contents should not be discounted. Add soybeans onto salads, combine into rice dishes, mix up this edamole recipe, or simply enjoy boiled for a nutritious snack.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 29, 2018. Updated on June 03, 2020.


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