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10 Good Fats you should Eat for Weight Loss

Updated on October 13, 2016

Good Fats make a Healthier you

Obesity/Being Overweight can cause serious Health Complications

As I continue my assault on the obesity/overweight epidemic, now we are going to discuss the big bad wolf so to speak. You might start getting the impression that 10 is my favorite number by my previous titles, however after recently competing in several natural bodybuilding competitions that required keeping strict, healthy eating habits, I try to offer a little variety in your selections as eating the same thing day in and day out can get old really quick. Fats are a lot like a car salesman. No matter how genuine and helpful the salesman might be, you still think he's full of crap. Before you go and condemn all fats, trying to cut them completely out of your diet, there's a problem with that. Your body requires fats to function correctly and efficiently. In fact, all of your major body organs require fats. Bad fats (trans fats) are a major factor in the development of some diseases, but there are some good fats (monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats) that can also aid in the prevention of these same afflictions. Fats also supply our organs and nerves with a layer of protection, aid in maintaining normal heart function, provides energy for body cells, supports the transportation and absorption of nutrients and furnishes the body with essential fatty acids that it can not produce itself. So as you can see, cutting out fats from your diet or having a lack of fats is never a good idea and could be extremely detrimental to your overall health. Even if you're consistently consuming good fats, there is a such thing as too much fat. There are several factors that will determine how much fat you should be taking in, such as your age, weight, lifestyle and the current state of your health. Your total fat intake should be approximately 30% of your daily calories. Trans fats should be kept below 1% of your daily caloric intake if at all possible. This list of good fats will keep your body working efficiently and provide some major health benefits.

Sliced Avocado

Avocados

The avocado is a high calorie fruit, mainly because of it's high fat content (roughly 15 times more than any other fruit) . It's fat is predominantly monosaturated, meaning it's of the healthy variety. Considered one of the healthiest foods in the world, avocado is filled with vitamins A, B, C, E & K, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. Not to mention the protein, fiber, and many phytochemicals it contains. The compound beta-sitosterol has displayed the ability to effectively lower cholesterol, the abundance of potassium keeps your blood pressure levels in check, the flavonoids found in them have anti-inflammatory properties and the soluble fiber and monosaturated fats control blood sugar levels and can reverse insulin resistance. Avocados also contain antioxidants that fight free radicals. Studies have shown that the avocado is helpful in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer, decreases the risk of stroke, augments nutrient absorption, impedes the aging process and boosts the immune system. If you are one of those that suffer from halitosis (bad breath), avocado cleanses the intestine which is the main factor in bad breath. The oil of the avocado is added into some cosmetics for it's promotion of healthy skin and aids in the treatment of several skin conditions. They may have a few extra calories for a fruit, but for all the health benefits they provide, it's a fair trade off.

A Scoop of Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

Under normal circumstances, you would not associate foods that are relatively higher in calories as foods that assist in the weight loss process, however when your consuming good fats such as peanut butter that have the combination of protein and fiber, they will not only stabilize your blood sugar levels, it will also keep you feeling full much longer and you will generally eat less overall. Like the avocado, peanut butter has a higher calorie count due to its high fat content. Packed with potassium, which helps with heart and nerve function. Some brands of peanut butter have added sodium, the potassium will offset the effects of the extra sodium. Pretty much anything high in fiber is going to aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol levels. Peanut butter is also filled with B vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium and copper that aid in providing energy and cardiovascular health. The antioxidants found in peanut butter have been linked to the decreased risk of colon cancer, heart disease and slowing the aging process down. Although I personally do not reap all the benefits of eating peanut butter, as I am deathly allergic to nuts, there's absolutely no reason for you not to enjoys all it's health benefits.

A Plate of Salmon

Salmon

Salmon is also considered one of the most healthiest foods on the planet. Most of that big health reputation primarily comes from it's unusually high omega 3 fatty acid content. However there are many other major health benefits in eating salmon on a regular basis. The Protein and amino acid content in the fish combines anti inflammatory benefits with anti inflammatory relief and has shown that it promotes the support of joint cartilage, persuades insulin and manages the inflammation of the digestive tract. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an imperative fat for brain function and is highly concentrated in salmon. Research has shown that consumption of omega 3's has improved moods and lessens the risk of hostility, depression and other brain related afflictions. Salmon has also been associated with improved cardiovascular health, diminishing the risk of problems such as high blood pressure, strokes, heart attack and arrhythmias. Some other benefits to eating this super fish is that it fights macular degeneration in the eyes, improving vision, the high protein content aids in the growth and maintenance for healthy hair, preventing hair loss, inspires the production of collagen and elastin fibers for youthful, blemish free skin,and cancer fighting properties that hamper the risk of numerous types of cancers like prostate, breast and colorectal. If it's not on your grocery list already, you should definitely add it.

All Major Organs Require Fats to Function

Shelled and Unshelled Walnuts

Good Fats consumption

How many of these good fats are you eating?

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Walnuts

There are approximately 30 different kinds of walnuts commercially cultivated all over the world, mainly in the United States, China, France, Turkey and Romania. Nuts are a good source of nutrients (omega 3 fatty acids), antioxidants (vitamins E, carotenoids, poly-phenolic compounds), vitamins (B complex groups), and minerals (iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese) that are absolutely necessary for overall health. Just a handful of walnuts a day will give you enough omega 3 assistance to lower of bad cholesterol, increase the good kind, decrease the risk of blood pressure, strokes, coronary artery disease, and prostate, colon and breast cancers. The minerals in walnuts (mainly zinc, manganese and copper) play major roles for many vital enzymes that manage growth and development, digestion, and sperm generation. The high fiber content means it takes longer for the body to metabolize, making it a good weight management food. Walnuts are also considered a brain food due to the vitamin E and B vitamin folate which promotes neural health and lessens the risk of cognitive decline.

A Dish full of Flaxseeds

Flax seeds and Flax seed oil

Flax seeds are more popular with non animal protein eating people (vegetarian and vegans), however anyone can benefit from adding this good fat to their shopping list, especially women, as a daily dose can help manage the estrogen levels of post menopause women and protect them from heart disease.You should see a pattern in the contents of this list of fats,each having high fiber content, which acts as a natural laxative, keeping everything moving briskly through the body. Highly concentrated with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), manganese, and lignans that defend against estrogen dependent cancers, lowers cholesterol, diminishes insulin resistance and guards against diabetes. Just like with anything else, too much of something is bad for you and can have adverse affects. If you use the Mediterranean diet or just consume an abnormal amount of omega 3's in general, consult your health care professional for the recommended amounts that would be good for you.

A Block of Tofu

Tofu

I have to be honest with you, me personally, I have to be in a good mood for this one. The taste definitely has to grow on you.Tofu is a curd that is made from milk of soybeans and is one of those fats that has a very bland taste, low in calories and has many health benefits, but still brings some controversy along with it and simply may not be for everyone. Derived from soy, many people have negative reactions to soy based products, it is often difficult to find quality soy products and they do not have longevity in their lifespan which can make it inconvenient for some people. Fermentation can drastically change a foods nutrient potential (normally it's produced by coagulation in the US), but there are still health benefits to fermented foods. Tofu is actually considered a complete food as it contains all the essential amino acids. It's also filled with omega 3's, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, selenium, and one serving of tofu has approximately 10 grams of protein. The nutrients in tofu aid the body in creating the enzymes that fight free radicals, the calcium helps keep your bones strong, the omega 3's keep you heart healthy and prevent blot clots and arteries from clogging, and the selenium manages the thyroid and assists in the repairing of DNA. For you mature women, the isoflavones in tofu decrease the symptoms of menopause have been linked to diminishing the risk of breast and prostate cancer (in men of course). As I stated previously, too much of anything is not good for you. There have been some studies that have shown too much soy can cause reproductive issues in both genders and because the isoflavones can mimic estrogen, it can inhibit the thyroid resulting in malfunction. Understand that these negative effects happened after excessive consumption of soy on a regular basis, so moderation is the key.

Bowl of Green Olives

Fruit from the Olive tree

I would always just associate olives as something you dress up a martini with or top on a pizza until I learned the health benefits of eating them. It's commonly been thought of as a vegetable, but the olive is actually a fruit, although its normally not eaten straight off the tree because of its bitter taste. Olives contain an ample amount of iron, which is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also a factor in the management of immune function and cognitive development. The anti-inflammatory properties of olives can mimic ibuprofen lessening pain, discomfort and naturally aiding in the fight against chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma and lessen the severity of menopause symptoms in women. Keeping your heart healthy, the biophenols in olives subdue the synthesis of bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and dwindle the development of arterial plaque. The antioxidants found in olives (vitamin E) negate free radicals improving gastrointesinal health, strengthening the immune system, protects you from cardiovascular diseases, and has been associated with the prevention of colon cancer. So when your fixing yourself that salad, make sure you toss some olives in there.

Good Fats vs Bad Fats

Mackerel

Mackerel, the deep water fish

Like the salmon, mackerel is another oily fish that comes with major health benefits. Rich with protein, minerals (potassium, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium), vitamins ( vitamin A, B12, C, D, K, niacin, folate), and substantial amounts of omega 3's and omega 6 fatty acids. The coenzyme Q10 is an anti-carcinogenic, removing cancerous agents, reinforcing the immune system and improves the body's ability to fend off infections. Oily fish enhance cardiovascular health, the condition of blood which in turn keeps your heart healthy. Fatty acids aid in thinning the blood, augmenting blood flow, lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol and regulates hormone levels. They give blood vessels more elasticity, reducing the risk of heart attacks and coronary heart disease. Omega 3's are a major factor in behavioral and cognitive function, they improve memory, aid in the transmission of nerve impulses, and help prevent central nervous system issues. The downside to this super fish is it's longevity. Mackerel disintegrates quickly and should be consumed within a couple of days. Studies have also shown that mackerel may come with concentrated levels of mercury, even more so if the fish is in polluted waters, so it should be avoided by pregnant women, as it would put both mother and child at risk of nervous system issues and other health complications.

Benefits of Eating Healthy Fats

Pure Canola Oil

Canola Oil

Coming from the canola seed, this vegetable oil has a light yellow color and neutral taste. Although its relatively high in calories, it has a very high monosaturated to saturated fatty acid ratio (omega 3 and omega 6), which makes it a healthy oil. The oil contains a sufficient amount of vitamin E, which aids in maintaining the integrity of the mucus membranes and skin, defending you against free radicals. the plant sterols found in the oil (B-sitosterol, campesterol) impede cholesterol absorption, lowering bad cholesterol, raising good cholesterol and aid in the lessening the risk of heart disease. Canola oil has one of the highest smoke points (temperature at which impurities are removed and the oil becomes prone to oxidation) which allows it to be good for deep frying. If you have to fry, use canola oil, as fats breakdown and become bad to eat if the smoke point is exceeded.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

Like canola oil, sunflower oil comes with big health benefits, it's not just for the birds and bees. Highly saturated with vitamin E and linoleic acids (omega 6), and oleic acid (monosaturated) sunflower oil aids in decreasing bad cholesterol and the risk of a heart attack. Sunflower oil also comes filled with phytonutrients like pheolic acid, choline, betaine, lignin and arginine which have been linked to adding protection against breast, colon and prostate cancers. Sunflower oil makes for a great substitute for other fats you might be eating and it will not change or spoil the flavor of your food.

Consuming the fats on this list on a regular basis will keep you healthy overall and of assist in your quest for weight loss/management. So make sure you add them to the shopping list on the door of your refrigerator.

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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Great hub alpha, I am useless at knowing what is good fats or bad, in fact I really should start to learn about this stuff as I am trying to lose weight as well, voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing all the details. There are a lot of good suggestions in your hub! It's important that people know about good fats. Your article is very informative.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I agree with you! We use to be told butter was really bad for you and ate margarine instead. Yuck! Now we use butter again. Good Hub!

    • Janus Joshua profile image

      Janus Joshua Angeles 3 years ago from Philippines

      Learned a lot from these. I've never been into fitness before but this really caught my attention.

    • janoataylor profile image

      janoataylor 3 years ago

      Great hub!! Love all your health advice. I definitely will be adding some of these to my diet:)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I love all of these foods, but not tofu. Olives are my favorite. I put flax seed in my smoothies. Voted up on your hub.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is a very informative and useful hub! I didn't know that green olives had any health benefits. That's great since I love them! Voted up and more!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image
      Author

      Kevin W 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you all for the read. @Dwelburn, You are right the oils can be refined, organic Canola & sunflower reap big benefits.

      @Ms Dora, I have a hard time with Tofu as well.

      @DDE - Thank you, I appreciate that.

      @Promisem - I hear that a lot from some people, eating healthy is more expensive.

      Thank you Tolovaj.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      It's interesting to see how most of people (at least in so called developed world) still believe fats are bad for health. Thanks for making this list, it can help to improve health to many readers!

    • promisem profile image

      Scott Bateman 3 years ago

      Shoppers with a strict budget will find that certain foods with good fats are a lot more expensive than others. I love walnuts, but they are about three or four times more expensive than the ground flaxseed I buy in the store. Canola oil also is a good choice for tight budgets.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub on weight issues. You certainly know what is best for one to lose weight easily.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Some great healthy fats here; though I can't really agree with tofu, canola oil and sunflower oil as these tend to be highly refined. And don't forget virgin coconut oil - it has numerous health benefits :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Up, Useful and Interesting. You offer very good information. Tofu is still a challenge for me, but I will certainly get the benefit of the others. Thank you very much!