5 Healthy fats to lose weight faster

In the shifting landscape of dietary trends, the once-prevalent fat-free craze has given way to a more nuanced understanding of fats’ role in a balanced diet, particularly about weight loss [1].

Unlike the simplified approach of the 90s, current dietary guidelines recognize the complexity of fats, emphasizing that not all fats are created equal.

Despite being calorie-dense, fats are essential for energy, cellular function and nutrient absorption. They enhance food’s flavor and increase satiety, aiding weight management.

The Mediterranean diet, renowned for its emphasis on healthy fats, has been linked to sustained weight loss and maintenance. A 2019 study in Nutrition & Diabetes noted that supporters of this diet were significantly less likely to gain weight than those who didn’t follow it.

Another study in 2020 from The British Journal of Nutrition emphasized its effectiveness in maintaining weight loss.

Understanding the types of fats

Saturated and trans fats: Often labeled as detrimental, saturated fats are found in items like butter and red meat. While these should not dominate the diet, they play a role in health and shouldn’t be completely avoided. Trans fats, however, are universally acknowledged as harmful, increasing unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels.

Unsaturated fats: These beneficial unsaturated fats are classified into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts, these fats are liquid at room temperature and contribute to lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Effective fat sources for weight loss

1. Avocado: A Nutrients study demonstrated that avocados could suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction, mainly due to their fiber and monounsaturated fat content.

2. Fatty fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel promote fullness and are integral to a calorie-controlled diet.

3. Full-fat salad dressings: Contrary to fat-free alternatives, full-fat dressings enhance the absorption of vitamins and extend satiety, as per Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD.

4. Full-fat yogurt: Enriched with essential nutrients and probiotics, full-fat yogurt supports more prolonged satiety and is linked with reduced body fat, as indicated by a 2019 review in Advances in Nutrition.

5. Nuts: Despite their high-calorie profile, nuts have been associated with less weight gain. A BMJ Nutrition, Prevention, & Health study highlighted the benefits of replacing less-healthy snacks with nuts.

Integrating the right kinds of fats into your diet can significantly aid weight loss efforts. The key is not to avoid fats entirely but to select sources that contribute positively to health outcomes, like those found in the Mediterranean diet [2].

This approach supports weight loss and enhances the overall diet quality, proving that fat can be both a palatable and practical component of a weight reduction strategy.

[1] https://www.eatingwell.com/the-best-healthy-fats-for-weight-loss-8417296
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339461/

Photograph: furmanphoto/Envato
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