We have all heard about the “low carb diet” as a quick way to get lean, but if you do not replace those carbs with something substantial it’s going to be a rough go. By increasing the amount of healthy fats consumed in the diet, you will not only burn fat more efficiently and lower inflammation but keep cravings at bay and feel more energized!
Eating high quality fats is essential to burning fat for a number of reasons. Consuming fat in the diet signals the liver to produce more bile. This is essential to weight loss and detoxification since bile breaks down fat and toxins. If the body is not creating enough bile, it will not be able break down fat and therefore prevent weight loss. Bile is also essential for proper digestion and it’s one of the building blocks of hormones.
Additionally, fat does not raise the stress hormone cortisol, which increases blood sugar and can suppress the immune system. Fat has a low impact on insulin levels when compared to protein and carbohydrates. Our brains and bodies perform optimally when we have enough Omega 3’s (essential fats) since these foods lower inflammation. We cannot produce these so we must consume foods high in Omega 3’s to experience the benefits.
Go-To Healthy Fats:
- Whole Eggs
- Coconut Oil
- Organic Cheese
- Wild-Caught Fish
- Dark Chocolate
- Raw Nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Flax Seeds
Good vs. Bad Fats:
Found in plants like nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and seafood. These types of fats have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and cholesterol. Omega 3 unsaturated fats like wild caught fish, whole eggs and flax/chia seeds are the best for the body since they have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Found in animal foods, like meat and butter, as well as coconut and palm oil. Often deemed unhealthy, but this has been proven wrong. Saturated fat is critical for cardiovascular health. This healthy fat reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat, lose the most weight. (3)
Found in fried foods, baked goods, and processed snack foods. These fats cause serious inflammation in the body, which is linked to a majority of chronic diseases.
Why Healthy Fats Rev Metabolism:
The idea that fats can promote weight loss is supported by the concept that healthy fat, rather than carbohydrates, are readily used for energy. The MCTs from other healthy fat sources consumed through our diet do the same thing as coconut oil. They rev up the body’s fat burning metabolism, reducing the overall body fat percentage over time.
With limited carbohydrate intake and higher mono and polyunsaturated fat intake, insulin levels will lower in the body, which then goes on to lower the damaging hormone levels in the blood stream. Too many carbs in the diet leads to unhealthy insulin spikes, which is what causes weight gain and added stress on the body. Prolonged insulin levels in the blood stream causes Type II diabetes and insulin insensitivity within the cells.
Basically what happens on an “eat fat to burn fat” diet is the body will readily burn the MCTs from the healthy fats first to use as energy, and this keeps the insulin levels low in the body, which also allows for greater weight loss. In addition, MCTs are more readily available energy sources and last for longer than carbohydrate stores do, which boosts energy levels throughout the day.