There is a whole heap of different things out there in the world of food that claim to lose weight. While it would be wonderful if they all did, they simply do not. In this article, we’re hoping to cut through some of the confusing nonsense in the world of food and dieting, and present you with the facts about healthy fats.
So, without further ado, let’s answer the question – can healthy fats help you to lose weight?
What are healthy fats?
Within your diet, there are a huge number of different types of fat. They all have things in common, but the basic shape of their chemical structure will typically be the same, which is what makes their fats.
Unsaturated fats have a double bond between two atoms in their chemical structure. This doesn’t mean much on its own but paired with other things, it means that additional harmful chemicals cannot bond with the fats themselves.
Monounsaturated fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat. The ‘mono’ in their name means that they only have one double bond in their molecular structure, meaning that their structure is quite simple, preventing them from taking part in a number of different chemical processes.
There are a number of foods that are high in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil. These foods are typically liquid at room temperature, while foods high in saturated fats are solid at room temperature.
These two types of fats affect health and disease differently. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to have several health benefits, hence why they’ve been given the name ‘healthy fats’.
How healthy fats help you lose weight
Every single fat out there has the same amount of energy per weight unit – nine calories per gram. This goes for everything from olive oil to butter.
Therefore, if you reduce the amount of fat in your diet, you can reduce your calorie intake – this will help you to lose weight over time.
However, the way that monounsaturated fats can help you to lose weight is a little different from that – they appear to have some properties that aid weight loss aside from their calorie content.
Several studies have shown that in situations where a patient’s caloric intake has stayed exactly the same, and they have switched their saturated fats for unsaturated fats, they have lost weight over time. This weight loss has been comparable in size to a low-fat diet.
What this all means is quite simple, at its core. A diet that is proportionally high in monounsaturated fats can be an effective way to lose weight. However, it can only be effective for weight loss when the calories from monounsaturated fats replace the calories from other, comparable foods, rather than adding any extra calories to the diet.
Throughout the world of nutrition and food science, there is quite an intense ongoing debate about the impact that saturated fats can have on the risk of heart disease.
The good news, on this front, is that a diet that’s high in monounsaturated fats can reduce risk factors for heart disease – this has shown to be especially true when these new fats replaced saturated fats themselves.
Having too much cholesterol in your blood is a risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol can clog arteries up, and it can lead to heart attacks and stroke over time. There have been a number of studies showing that monounsaturated fats can cut down on blood cholesterol, and triglycerides in the bloodstream.
There have been studies showing that a diet high in saturated fat can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol by around four percent over time. On top of that, a diet high in monounsaturated fats was shown to reduce cholesterol by five percent.
There is an awful lot of proof showing that monounsaturated fats can be much better for your health, so they should perhaps be pursued. Healthy fats can be something that you might struggle to track down in all of the food that you eat, but making a few swaps will be beneficial to your health over time. Make those swaps soon, and you should be able to see some weight loss results b