In the light of the controversial report urging us to adopt high-fat diets, we bring you the 6 healthy fats that help you lose weight.
Earlier this week, a controversial report urged us to banish low-fat diets in favour of a diet rich in healthy fats.
The report by the National Obesity Forum (NOF) and the Public Health Collaboration argues that everything we have been told about fat is wrong, and low-fat diets have actually contributed to the Nation’s obesity crisis.
Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and member of the Public Health Collaboration, said dietary guidelines promoting low-fat foods are “perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history, resulting in devastating consequences for public health”.
Indeed, he urges for the public message to be changed, concluding, “Eat fat to get slim. Don’t fear fat; fat is your friend.”
However, Public Health England (PHE) have deemed the report “irresponsible and misleading”, arguing that there is no scientific proof to support all of the claims made.
What are Healthy Fats?
Although the report has sparked controversy, it has highlighted that we need to stop viewing all fats negatively, and learn the facts about fats.
Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids are all healthy fats that our diets need and we should be eating more of.
Healthy fats are not only great for our overall wellbeing, but they are also believed to help aid weight loss. This is because unlike low-fat diets that often leave us feeling hungry and turning to unhealthy, processed snacks, healthy fats leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer, making you inclined to eat less.
Of course, as with everything we eat, healthy fats should be eaten in moderation, and as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
To help you eat more of the right fats, here are 6 healthy fats that your body needs and could even help you lose weight.
Although avocados are full of fat, over 75% of the fat in avocados is good fat. Indeed, they are rich in monounsaturated fats (especially oleic acid) which can help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Avocados really are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, offering an abundance of health benefits.
Avocados contain nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals nutrients per serving, including potassium which helps control blood pressure and folate which is great for pregnant women as it can help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Avocados also contain 8% of your recommended daily amount of fibre which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are considered essential because our bodies do not produce them on its own, so we must rely on foods we eat to supply omega-3s.
Omega-3s are hugely beneficial for brain function as they help prevent inflammation which helps ward off depression, stress and anxiety.
The type of omega-3s found in salmon is also believed to lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and even Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, populations that consume the most omega-3 foods are shown to live longer and healthier lives.
If you’re not a fan of salmon, other fishes high in omega-3s include mackerel, sardines, or cold-water tuna.
Coconut Oil was once considered unhealthy due to its 100% fat content.
However, since the health benefits of coconut oil have become well-known, coconut oil has become a must-have in every health-conscious household.
Coconut oil is very rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which our bodies find hard to convert into stored fats and find easier to burn off than long-chain fatty acids. This means medium-chain fatty acids can aid with weight loss as our bodies struggle to store them.
Coconut oil also contains about 50% lauric acid which helps increase good heart health and prevent health problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
Olive oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat, both of which have numerous health benefits.
Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet which is associated with longer life expectancy and lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Olive oil is also believed to provide many health benefits such as lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, depression, type 2 diabetes and even breast cancer.
To reap the benefits of olive oil, use it when cooking or in place of shop-bought salad dressings.
Egg yolks used to get a bad rap because they are high in cholesterol and fat, however, eggs (yolks included!) are actually a great source of healthy fat.
Eggs contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are both healthy fats that provide the body with many benefits.
Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals and contain almost every single nutrient the body needs including iron, zinc, calcium and folate.
Eggs are also an amazing source of protein, containing 6 grams of high quality protein per egg which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and is also believed to aid weight loss.
Nuts are a great healthy snack, packed with protein, fibre and of course, healthy fats.
A particularly good nut to incorporate into your diet are almonds as they are relatively low in calories and have more calcium than any other nut.
Almonds contain many vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and calcium so really pack a healthy punch.
Almonds are also believed to be great for weight loss as the monounsaturated fat they contain help keep you feeling fuller for longer and therefore cause you to snack less.