Fat’s role in our diet can be confusing. One day it’s bad for you; the next day butter is best. With all the mixed messages, how are we supposed to know?
There’s no reason to exclude healthy fat from your diet, and assuming you’re following proper nutritional principles with the rest of your diet and not consuming an overabundance of calories, we actually recommend that you get fat in your diet, as minimizing dietary fat (i.e., consuming less than 10% of calories from fat) will retard your weight loss efforts.
We talk about the three best fats that your body actually needs to lose weight:
Olive oil: Although olive oil contains a relatively high Omega – 6 to Omega – 3 ratio (one of the problems with the modern diet is over consumption of Omega – 6 fatty acids to Omega – 3 fatty acids), its role in healthy eating is well documented. It has been shown in studies to decrease risk of colon cancer and contains antioxidants such as Vitamin E and polyphenols. Just don’t cook with it – the unsaturated fatty acids in olive oil are easily damaged by high temperatures, causing oxidative damage to the oil.
Virgin coconut oil: Because it contains a high amount of saturated fats, coconut oil is considered safe to cook with at high temperatures since its chemical structure is stable enough to resist those high temperatures. Although it’s high in saturated fat, studies show that the special fatty acids in coconut oil (medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs) are reported to deliver a myriad number of health benefits, such as metabolic stimulation, improved immunity, and better skin.
Omega 3-6-9: An oil mix like this is helpful if you don’t normally get enough Omega – 3 fatty acids in your diet (a third-party certified organic fish oil is the best non-food source) and you don’t like oily fish or can’t sit down long enough to eat it. The Omega – 9 fatty acids in these oil blends aren’t essential to your health, however.
Don’t fear fat – it’s a good part of a sound fat loss approach, and so long as you don’t go overboard and over consume calories, dietary fat consumption will only work to speed your fat loss.
– Eugene Thong CSCS