Archive for May, 2013


Important Fats in Your Diet

While many dieters try their utmost to avoid eating fats at all costs in the belief that they are largely responsible for their overweight state, there are actually some fats that are beneficial to losing weight. So not all fats are bad for your health and not all fats will make you gain weight. Here is the low down on the good fats that you really should include in your diet for plenty of reasons.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for promoting the release of the feel good hormone, serotonin. This has a calming effect on the body reducing stress. Stress is detrimental to health and also leads to weight gain as it inhibits the digestive system causing the body to store more fats.

Omega-3 also interacts with the health of the brain, improving synaptic function, memory and intelligence. There are actually three main omega fatty acids that you need to be aware of with regards to health and weight loss, the other two being omega-6 and omega-9.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6, better known as polyunsaturated fats is found mainly in vegetable oils (not olive oil) as well as poultry, eggs, nuts, cereals and many other common foods. It should be restricted and certainly taken in lesser amounts than is often currently taken as this fatty acid has a tendency to disrupt mood and promote hostility.

It can disrupt the positive benefits of omega-3, although a ratio of 4-1 omega-6 to omega-3 is recommended. Modern diets tend to have that ratio at anywhere between 10-1 and 30-1, so you need to be aware of this. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-6_fatty_acid

Omega-9 Fatty Acids

Omega-9 is better known as monounsaturated fat and is found mainly in olive oil, and to a lesser extent in olives, avocados, almonds and several other nuts. It is not classified as an essential fatty acid as the body can make its own as long as there are omega-3 and -6 present.

It helps reduce cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries while reducing insulin resistance promoting better blood sugar maintenance. It also improves the immune system and helps prevent certain forms of cancer. From weight loss perspective, it is its ability to reduce insulin resistance and therefore improve the flow of blood sugar that assists with exercising and muscle stamina and growth.

So you see, not all fats are bad. Saturated fats are the ones to avoid as these tend to increase bad LDL cholesterol with the associated risks to the health of the heart, but this is a subject for a separate article in its own right. The bottom line is that eating a balanced and healthy diet is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight and metabolism, which will result in better long term health.