The Right Fats Make You Skinny

Eating the right kinds of fat and reducing carbohydrate and refined sugar intake leads to a faster metabolism and sustained weight loss.

All calories are not created equal.

A study on rats found that those fed a ketogenic diet (low carb and high fat) had a greater weight loss than rats fed a high-carb diet even though they ate exactly the same number of calories.

It all really comes down to controlling a tricky little hormone called insulin. Think insulin = fat storage, because it does! High-carb and sugar diets require our body to “emergency evacuate” the overload of sugar from our blood stream. When we get our energy from sugar, our body literally goes into “storage mode.” (To see if your insulin level is slowing your weight loss, see our weight loss and metabolism module and get results sent straight to your home.)

Conversely, when our calories come from fat or protein, the body burns more calories while metabolizing the food, and thus “burns fat.”  This is how we can eat the same amount of calories from fat as carbs and end up with a greater calorie burn.

All fats are not created equal.

Fats are a complex cast of characters. We have routinely grouped them into a spectrum from the undesirable trans fats, including the polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils), monounsaturated fats (olive oil), and saturated fats (butter and animal fat). In the past, we used these categories to either villainize or glorify these subclasses. Alas, it is not quite that simple. Now science is looking through an entirely different lens. It turns out that the quality of fats in these groups, as well as what we combine with them, is what really counts.

You can pretty much rule trans fats out of your dietary goals. Think of these as the man-made fats in margarine or food on your grocery-store shelf. Now that food manufactures got the message that we are not hip on trans fats, they have moved to the all-abundant and cheap vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these oils tend not to offer the support our cell walls need. Most store-bought foods are made with poor-quality omega-6 fats because they are abundant and cheap.

Getting a good ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s in our diet is very important to our health. (4:1 is optimal, and most people have a ratio of 16:1) When these levels are imbalanced in our system we are more vulnerable to disease. This, scientist think, happed over time as we humans transitioned from nuts and seeds to refined vegetable oils as our source of omega 6 fatty acids. To find good omega 3 intake, we can look to cold-water fish, walnuts, brazil nuts, omega-rich eggs, and sea vegetables. (algae oil is a great vegetarian source of omega 3s.)

About 99% of Americans are deficient in omega 3s. So, if you’re not taking a supplement, we highly recommend it. Combining fats like butter with a diet high in carbs and sugar will really set you back. (Think high-sugar muffins, cookies and cakes). Diets high in this combination will reduce the positive effects of healthy fats and produce unwanted results like high bad cholesterol levels. Eating quality fats from trusted manufacturers when it comes to olive oil, or making sure your meat or dairy products come from hormone-free, grass-fed livestock is of critical importance.

Time to get ready for an oil change guys. It’s not fat that’s making you fat. It’s the wrong kind of fats, combined with an excess of sugar or carbohydrates, that is the problem.

Here are a few tips when trying to decide what fats to eat:

Animal Fats 
Good / grass-fed, organic, beef, chicken, omega 3 pasture-raised eggs
Bad / feedlot animal meats; nonorganic poultry.
(Eating meat in smaller portions is always recommended.)

Fish and Seafood 
Good / wild fatty fish: sardines, black cod and wild salmon.
Bad / lobster, tuna, catfish, king mackerel, Chilean sea bass, swordfish

Good / grass-fed butter, ghee, unsweetened nut and seed milks.
Bad / milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, regular butter

Nuts and Seeds 
Good / almond, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts.  Nuts and seed butters (without added sugars or bad oils).
Bad / Peanuts

Good / coconut butter, organic virgin cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil, organic extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, MCT oil, organic flax seed oil, organic expeller pressed refined avocado oil, walnut, pumpkin seed, pistachio and hemp oils.
Bad / safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn and cottonseed oils, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, margarine and shortening.

I hope you enjoyed the “skinny” on fats. Remember, the right fats may help with depression, ADD, autism, trauma, reducing inflammation, sports performance, and beautiful skin and nails. So, get ready for your oil change and enjoy your fats!

Yours in Health and Bliss,

Amy Beth Hopkins

Amy Beth Hopkins

Amy Beth has her Masters of Physical Therapy degree and Bachelors in Health Science from Loma Linda University. She is the founder of Health and Bliss for Life and online platform for aging well. She also owns Your Personal Best Physical Therapy Clinics in Austin, Tx giving her a unique perspective on the body’s ability to heal. She’s worked as program developer for physical therapy, health entrepreneur, fitness model and spokesperson for Feminine Fitness. Her study of the human potential movement and working with transformational coaches and trainers keeps her tapped into all factors that contribute to living a life full of creative contribution, happiness and fulfillment. She loves seeing others thrive and live life to the fullest, rich in physical, emotional and spiritual health.

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