High fat or low fat foods when you want to lose weight?
So you want to lose weight? Okay. You’ve probably researched this topic a little bit and you may have seen that some sources recommend a low-fat diet. But is this really the best way? Should one strongly restrict the fat intake when one wants to lose weight? If those questions are on your mind, then you’ve come to the right place. We are here to answer them. So let’s start!
Is the fat bad for you?
Well, sure, bad fats can be harmful for your body. But there is this thing called healthy fat.
That’s a type of nutrient which is vital for your body. It helps regulate the blood sugar, improves the cholesterol, decreases the inflammation, helps the proper nutrient absorption, maintains the cognitive function and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Some research has shown that high fat diets (of course, high in healthy fats) can help you lose weight. According to scientists, the fat itself isn’t the main reason to gain weight but the sugar.
They say that our bodies store the excess sugar as fat tissue. But scientists claim that if you limit the refined carbohydrates and sugar and replace the unhealthy fats with healthy ones, your body will start to burn fat for energy and, as a result, you’ll lose weight. Also, if you consume enough fat, this may help you reduce the cravings and curb the hunger.
Also, your body needs fat in order to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (such vitamins are A, D, K and E). And if you consume too little fat, this may lead to deficiencies of the said vitamins. This then may lead to various health problems because those nutrients are important for the blood clotting, the bone strengthening, boosting the immune system, protecting the heart, etc.
We should also remember that our brain is 60% fat – mostly omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The latter is vital for the communication between the cells. And if it’s in healthy levels in the brain, it can boost you happiness, cognition, memory and learning.
But if you are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, this may lead to development of stress, anxiety and some mood disorders.
Well, which fats are bad?
Bad fats can be found in some refined vegetable oils which contain too much omega-6 fatty acids. Such oils are that from canola, corn, soybean and safflower.
And trans fats are the worst of all. They are contained in various foods, including shortening and margarine. You should do your best to avoid them because they take a huge toll on your health.
They lead to weight gain, issues with the cholesterol levels, inflammation and others.
And where can we find healthy fats?
There are many foods which contain healthy fats but we’ll go only over some of them.
Omega-3 rich fish such as sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel.
Nuts and seeds such as macadamia nuts, pecans, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts.
Coconut oil – it contains medium-chain fatty acids which your body easily digests. This oil also makes a wonderful energy source.
And, of course, there are many other foods which contain healthy fats. Just carefully do a research on the nutrition facts on the foods you eat and stay away from everything labeled as “hydrogenated” because this means it contains trans fats.
Are there any studies that support that?
Several scientists did a meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials which have compared how effective the low-fat diets are in comparison to the high-fat diets. While not all studies showed the same results, this may be due to the way they were conducted. But let’s quickly look over some of the main findings.
It has been show that the low-fat diets aren’t better than the high-fat diets. When the diet examined in the study had a difference of more than 5% of the total calories from fat, the diets which consisted of higher-fat levels led to much larger weight loss. And the high-fat diets were
more effective if the change in the triglycerides differed by 0.06 mmol/L. So, as we can see, this meta-analysis showed that higher-fat diets may actually have better results when it comes to weight loss in comparison to the low-fat diets.