Let’s talk about… FATS– healthy fat that is! I’m talking natural, high quality fats found in plants and animals. As I embark on my third round of Whole 30, I wanted to share one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from the program. Fat is NOT bad for you! It won’t make you fat! In fact, quite the opposite healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, ghee, etc. are healthful foods and can aid in weight loss. You’ll noticed all of these foods contain saturated fats, which are generally the fat people cringe at and think clogged arteries. In 2010, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed 21 different nutritional studies that tracked the diets of a combined 347,000 participants and concluded “There is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.”
It’s so ingrained in diet culture that fats are bad for you and low fat or no fat anything is the way to go. I was a “spray everything in PAM til the cows come home” kinda girl before I did my first round of Whole 30 because that’s what I thought was healthy. If this is something you struggle with too, I highly recommend reading this Whole 30 blog post. Now I incorporate healthy fats, like a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil (like this Jovial foods freshly harvested organic olive oil) on roasted veggies, avocado on just about everything, homemade mayo, ghee fried eggs, bulletproof coffee, the possibilities are endless and SO tasty!
Anecdotally, I have seen increased weight loss when I incorporated healthy fats in moderation. The first time I did Whole 30, I lost 12 pounds in 30 days. That was the first time I was purposefully including healthy fats at every meal. I felt fuller for longer periods of time and was more satisfied after each meal. However, I’m a speech-language pathologist by trade so of course I needed my dietary change to be evidence based. So I’ve compiled some of the BEST parts about including more healthy fats in your life!
So here’s the (research based) breakdown:
1. Incorporating healthy fats in moderation helps with weight loss! A randomized study (Samaha, FF, et al., 2003) found that dieters who incorporated healthy fats while eating a low carb diet lost an average of three times more weight than dieters on a low fat diet. The key is moderation! Be sure to reference serving sizes when incorporating more healthy fats in your diet.
2. Healthy fats help you stay fuller longer and leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal. Compared to a low fat diet, dieters incorporating healthy fats not only lost more weight, but rated their hunger as lower overall and between meals (Nickols-Richardson et al., 2005; McClernon, FJ, et al., 2007).
3. Eating healthy fats helps lower cholesterol! While this is not an area I personally have experience with research shows that incorporating healthy fats in moderation can help improve cholesterol (Tay, J. et al., 2008).
4. Healthy fats make you feel better! Okay okay I know “feel better” is so general, but research has shown that dieters that don’t restrict fat intake report better moods than their low fat dieting counterparts (Hayburn, AK, et al. 2007; McClernon, FJ, et al., 2007).
5. Fat is good for your brain. Studies have shown that consuming healthy fats leads to increased cognitive functioning and increased production of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine (Arsenaut et al., 2012; Yago, MD et al., 2005).
There are tons of health benefits to incorporating healthy fats, found in high quality plants and animals, like increased liver functioning, immune, bone, and heart health. I could go on and on with the research that has come out in favor of incorporating healthy fats in your diet, but I’ve already written one thesis and won’t be writing another one tonight!
I’ve found such success and joy in incorporating more fats into my diet, but I always recommend consulting with your physician before making any dietary changes that may affect your health. You can find some of my favorite high quality fats and oils, including the Jovial Foods Oilio Nuovo, on my favorite products page (link). Stay tuned for lots more fun recipes filled with healthy fats!