Healthy Dietary Fats Actually Help in Weight Loss
Your body can use both carbs and fat for fuel, but they’re in no way equal. When your body burns glucose as its primary fuel, it actually inhibits your body’s ability to access and burn body fat. With an ever-present supply of carbs, your liver downregulates the entire fat burning process because it’s not needed.
So, if you eat the standard American diet, chances are you’ve radically reduced your ability to burn body fat for fuel. How do you rev up your body’s fat-burning engine? Part of the equation is to eat more healthy dietary fats. The other part of the equation is to limit net carbs. Fat is a far preferable fuel for your body as it burns far more efficiently and “cleaner” than carbs.
To effectively burn body fat, you may need 50 percent (or more) of your daily calories to come from beneficial monosaturated and saturated fats, which include:
Olives and olive oil (make sure it’s third party-certified, as 80 percent of olive oils are adulterated with vegetable oils. Also avoid cooking with olive oil. Use it cold.)
Coconuts and coconut oil (excellent for cooking as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidizing)
Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds
Lard and tallow (excellent for cooking)
Ghee (clarified butter)
Raw cacao butter
Organic-pastured egg yolks
Animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil and small fatty fish like sardines and anchovies
So, while it may sound ironic, eating more fat and fewer net carbs will ultimately help your body to burn more fat. There are other methods that can help you switch over to fat-burning mode too. One reason so many struggle with their weight (aside from eating processed foods in lieu of real foods) is because they rarely if ever skip a meal.
As a result, their bodies have adapted to burning sugar as the primary fuel, which down-regulates enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat. Intermittent fasting can change that. By abstaining from food, your liver runs out of glycogen and then, just like that, starts to use up glycogen stored in your fat cells.
Harmful Dietary Fats to Avoid
Fats can be harmful, but it’s important to know the difference. In summary, harmful fats that can contribute to heart disease are primarily:
- Trans fats. By acting as a pro-oxidant, trans fat contributes to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage.
- Highly refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils (PUFAs, such as peanut, corn and soy oil), which are high in damaged omega-6 and produce toxic oxidation products like cyclic aldehydes when heated.
To protect your mitochondrial function, limit PUFAs to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. At higher levels, you will increase the PUFAs concentration in the inner mitochondrial membrane, which makes it far more susceptible to oxidative damage. Also avoid exceeding 5 percent of your daily calories as omega-6 fats.
In comparison, healthy saturated fats such as those found in coconut oil and some animal products may:
- Increase your large, fluffy LDL particles that are NOT associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
- Increase your HDL levels, which is associated with lower heart disease risk. This also compensates for any increase in LDL.
- May NOT cause heart disease as made clear in a large number of studies.18,19,20,21,22,23
- Do not damage as easily as other fats because they do not have double bonds that can be damaged through oxidation.
- Serves as a “clean-burning fuel” for your brain and mitochondria, producing far less damaging free radicals than sugars and non-fiber carbs.
Diets High in Healthy Fats and Low in Net Carbs Solve Several Problems
Mounting evidence suggests high-fat, low net-carb diets may be the key that many people have been looking for, as it solves more than one problem. Not only does it help you shed excess body fat, it does so while improving metabolism, boosting overall energy levels, lowering inflammation, promoting optimal health and maximizing longevity in a number of different ways. One effective way to optimize your fat-burning system is to:
- Limit your daily net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). You can consume as many high-fiber veggies as you like. They’re carbs, but since they’re high in fiber, they’re typically quite low in net carbs.
- Limit protein to a maximum of 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass.
- Increase your intake of healthy fats to 50 to 60 percent of your daily calories.
The fear of healthy dietary fat is actually part of why we’re currently struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease of epidemic proportions.
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