Fast Diets For Dummies
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Understanding healthy fats and the value they have during your eating window is one of the most important principles you can discover in nutrition. Eating healthy fats actually helps you lose stored body fat for overall weightloss, protects you against heart disease, melts away inflammation, and aides in conditions like skin disorders, arthritis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, and depression.

Healthy fats also make you feel fuller and satisfied. For instance, if you're fasting, having healthy fats the day before makes having a reduced caloric intake the day after much easier because you aren't hungry.

Healthy fats make all the structures and functions of your body flourish. You need them for hormone production and for the growth and development of the brain, immune system, nervous system, heart, and blood vessels. Healthy fats also make you look younger by nourishing the skin and giving it a beautiful sheen, making your hair shiny, diminishing wrinkles, and giving you a beautiful, healthy appearance.

  • The key to a leaner body has nothing to do with a low-fat diet. In fact, to access stored fat in your body for energy, you need to consume fats in your meals so you can then burn stored fat for energy.

  • Saturated fats aren't the cause of heart disease. Studies are revealing more and more that inflammation caused from all the processed oils and refined foods are the culprits of heart disease — not the healthy, good old, back-to-nature fats we explain in this section.

So what are healthy fats? Essential fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) are healthy fats. Your body doesn't produce these fats on its own, so you must consume them in order to get the benefits. (Lucky for you, healthy fats make foods taste better and help you feel satisfied.) Including essential fats in your diet will definitely give you an edge in looking and feeling your best.

Here are the healthy fats. Choose the organic versions of them:

  • Coconut fats: Coconuts are an excellent source of saturated fat and produce many delicious varieties of fats. You can use coconut oil in different forms, such as

    • Coconut aminos: This product is from the sap of a coconut tree and has a salty flavor. Coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce.

    • Coconut oil: Choose unrefined coconut oil, and use it for sautéing, roasting, and baking in place of vegetable oils and shortening.

    • Unsweetened coconut: Enjoy flakes as a snack, and use shredded coconut to add fat and sweetness to curries, salads, and desserts.

    • Coconut milk: You can substitute coconut milk for yogurt and cream in recipes — or splash it into coffee instead of half-and-half.

      Make sure that you choose a coconut milk that uses guar gum as a stabilizer. Don't use any others. Avoid the coconut milk in the carton, and use the variety in cans.

  • Olives and avocados: Both olives and avocados are favored sources of monounsaturated fats. Use olive oil and avocado oil for drizzling on salads, and nibble on both olives and avocados in salads or as snacks for healthy fat intake.

    Look for packaged olives that contain only water, olives, and salt; avoid chemical additives and stabilizers. Toss them into salads and cooked foods to add healthy fat.

    Use only extra-virgin olive oil on salads or drizzle over cooked vegetables and meats. This particular oil has what is known as a low smoke point, which means when you add heat, it goes rancid (spoils) very quickly. When you eat rancid oil, you run the risk of taking what was once a healthy oil, and making it unhealthy. Unhealthy, rancid oils create inflammation in the body.

  • Animal fats: Animal fats are an excellent choice for cooking, but only if the fats come from organic, grass-fed, pastured animals. If you can find a good source, then fats like lard, tallow, and ghee (clarified butter) are healthful, delicious options.

  • Nuts, nut oils, and nut butters: In moderation, nuts and nut butters are tasty options to add fat to meals, snacks, and desserts. Raw or dry roasted are your best bet. Eat them in moderation; add to cooked foods for crunch, or enjoy a few as a snack.

    Nut oils are a nice way to add unexpected flavors to salads, but don't use them for cooking, because they become unstable and rancid with heat. For nut butters, examine the label for added sugar. Enjoy nut butters in moderation; they're great for snacks, sauces, and desserts.

    Nuts are calorically dense, and you can easily eat a lot of them without realizing just how much you ate. Typically, a single serving of nuts is a quarter cup or about a small handful.

  • Seeds: Seeds are good Paleo-friendly snacks. Some seed choices are pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and pine nuts.

Don't skimp when budgeting your money on oils, because the right fats and oils can make your cells incredibly healthy, and the opposite is also true. Unhealthy or rancid oils can make you incredibly unhealthy because they create inflammation, whereas healthy oils help inflammation leave the body. Because inflammation is the catalyst for so many problems, adding some healthy fats to your diet can really make a big difference.

On the other hand, some oils are just bad for you. The following oils may get billed as healthy oils, but these industrial and seed oils are very processed and prone to turning rancid, creating inflammation in the body, so stay clear of them as much as possible. They include the following:

  • Canola oil

  • Corn oil

  • Cottonseed oil

  • Margarine

  • Palm kernel oil

  • Partially hydrogenated oil

  • Peanut oil

  • Safflower oil

  • Soybean oil

  • Sunflower oil

  • Trans fats

  • Vegetable shortening

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, author and nutritionist, appears on various news streams nationally and conducts workshops and seminars worldwide to help people feel — and look — their best. She is also the author of the popular website and gives daily news, tips and inspiration on twitter @drkellyann. Patrick Flynn, a fitness minimalist, is the coauthor of Paleo Workouts For Dummies, and the driving force behind a top 500 Health and Wellness blog

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