HOW EATING HEALTHY FATS HELP BALANCE HORMONES AND FAT LOSS
The message around fat in our diet still causes a lot of confusion.
We are all familiar with the fat-free and low-fat trends in the 90s, causing fat in food to get a bad reputation for a number of years— it’s actually no wonder people are STILL afraid to include fat into their food every day.
Not only is healthy fat essential for overall health, it is also almost essential for good hormonal balance.
Fats contains nine calories per gram, versus the four calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. So if you eat less fat, you’ll eat fewer calories and you’ll lose weight. But fat loss is not as simple as this read on if you want to know more.
However, this just means that when trying to lose weight, and even maintaining weight, a person must be mindful of the amount of fat they're eating.
Higher-fat foods that provide about 100-110 calories:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g of pesto
- 15g pecans
- ⅓ avocado
- 20g flaxseed
- 45g salmon
- 1.5 eggs
- 50g mackerel
Why You Need Fat
Fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet.
The majority of food diaries I analyse are unintentionally deficient in the good fats – essential fatty acids.
These Essential Fatty Acids are essential to life. Our body cannot make these essential fats, so in order for our body to have these essential fats for good health, we must eat them.
Fat is responsible for keeping our hair and skin healthy, helps our body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, and helps our body stay warm. We need fats to help brain development, protect our organs, and control inflammation, think pain or burning anywhere in the body.
It is important to understand that all fats aren’t equal, even though they all contain 9 calories per gram.
- The “good fats” you want in your diet are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which include plant-based oils like olive oil, avocados, nut butter, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- “Saturated fats” in your diet should be limited; they raise your LDL levels, which can put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and other major health problems.
- Trans fatty acids are the ones we want to cut back on in our diet, think these are fats that are formed through industrial processing, when vegetable oil hardens in a process called hydrogenation. Often found in packaged foods, fast foods, or fatty dishes you might find on a takeaway menu, hydrogenated fats, or “trans fats,” are often used to keep some foods preserved with a longer shelf life. It’s best to read food labels and avoid foods with trans fats.
Here are 3 Reasons why you need to eat some healthy fats in order to lose excess body fat
- Fat helps us feel full – and less likely to over eat
If you ever followed an extremely low-fat diet and never felt satisfied or suffered from mood swings, it’s likely because you were missing this essential nutrient, fat.
Fat helps our body release a hormone after we are done eating that helps us feel more satisfied. When most people start on a low-fat diet in an attempt to lose weight, they end up hungry and dissatisfied with what they’re eating, as a result end up craving sugary snacks.
Next time you might opt for a have a high-carb snack food (like a cracker) pair it with a high-fat food like nut butter such as almond butter to prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar. This combination will slow your digestion and the rate at which sugars from the cracker enter the bloodstream.Eating fat doesn’t trigger a rise in insulin in the body like sugar or carbohydrates do.
2. Fat helps you better absorb nutrients
Our fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E & K. Adding a little olive oil on your salad and colourful vegetables will actually help your body absorb the vitamins in your vegetables better.
Eating low calorie diets like 1,200 calories or less is something I often come across especially if someone is trying to lose weight and doing so with no proper guidance or professional advice.
The term Calories in Vs Calories out, to lose fat is correct, to a certain extent.
However low calorie diets 1,200 or less for females will mean nutritional deficiencies and often in the fat soluble vitamin
3. Fats are Important for Hormonal Balance
First, it is important to know that hormones are made from fat and cholesterol, without fats, hormone production would suffer.
The body is not able to produce certain hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone without cholesterol. One of the ways the body makes cholesterol is by consuming enough fat. While many people are afraid of high cholesterol, low cholesterol can also cause a hormone imbalance.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are important for hormonal balance. We need to get enough omega 3 to help balance our Omega 6 levels, but more often than not, people end up getting more Omega 6 than Omega 3.
Omega 6 fatty acids are found in foods like:
- Red meat,
- hydrogenated oils as well as
- fried and processed foods.
When we are not getting enough Omega 3’s from sources like:
- Wild-caught salmon
- chia, and flax seeds
If we have a high Omega 6 intake, then our metabolism (i.e. our bodies ability to burn calories effectively) can suffer, meaning weight loss is slower which in turn can cause a hormonal imbalance.
The good news is that by simply getting enough Omega 3’s in our diet will help our hormone production and help fight inflammation as well.
So, enjoy adding oily fish like salmon and mackerel twice or three times per week, flax and chia seeds preferably milled for better absorption on oats, soups or salads, or an afternoon snack like a handful of unsalted walnuts are ways to get Omega 3 into your day.
Healthy fats provide nutrients important to assist fat loss and fats bring out the flavour in our food.
Written By Elaine Baxter,
Qualified Nutrition Coach, Owner Food Wise Enfield.
Elaine helps females who are one or all of the following; mothers, active and working,
(average age 42),
to carve out some time for just them in their busy day
to be themselves, and be inspired to nourish their body,
spend a short amount of time every day working on easing stress of everyday life ,
so that they can feel more energetic, feel better and drop body fat.
Message 083 371 6831 to book your one to one appointment now.