Posted by Joe Wicks in Recipes
Many people believe that fat is unhealthy and that eating it will make them fat, so it's often the first macronutrient people cut out when trying to get lean. This is a common mistake, because not all fats are bad; in fact, some are essential to the body and must be obtained from your diet.
WHY ARE FATS IMPORTANT?
Fats have several important roles in the body, including:
• Providing you with energy (1g of fat contains 9kcals, as opposed to just 4kcals in 1g of carbohydrate)
• Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K (fat must be present in order for the body to absorb these vitamins)
• Protecting your organs, nerves and tissues, and helping to regulate body temperature
• Every cell membrane in the body needs fat for protection, and also to grow new healthy cells
• Fats are involved in the production of essential hormones in the body
• Maintenance of healthy hair, skin and nails
As you can see, fats are vital for good health – and that’s why my recipes include them.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF FAT?
There are 3 types of fat:
• Saturated – animal fats, butter, eggs, cheese, coconut oil
• Monounsaturated – nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil
• Polyunsaturated – sunflower oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout
Saturated fats from meat and dairy products were demonized in the 1950s because of their association with increased bad cholesterol and coronary heart disease. For years, we were told to replace these saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarines and low-fat products.
New research, however, suggests that saturated fats from butter, milk, cream, eggs and coconut oil can actually increase good cholesterol and are beneficial for the heart – so don’t throw away your yolks, folks. Now, just because I’m saying these fats are good for you doesn’t mean you should sit down and eat a whole wheel of cheese. Fats do contain lots of calories, after all, so you need to eat everything in moderation and in line with your own personal energy demands.
Monounsaturated fats, found in things such as extra virgin olive oil, avocados and nuts, are also great for increasing good cholesterol. This is why a handful of nuts, seeds or olives and half an avocado make a perfect snack. Extra virgin olive oil is best used raw in salad dressings. Unlike sugary cereal bars or chocolate, these snacks will give you sustained energy and keep your blood-sugar levels stable.
Polyunsaturated fats can be found in things such as oily fish like salmon and mackerel and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are considered an EFA (essential fatty acid) because they cannot be synthesized in the body, and so they must be obtained from the diet. Omega-3 fats are considered anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
The fats we need to cut down on are not just found in doughnuts, pastries and fast-food restaurants. They are hidden in many low-fat diet products. Yes, low-fat ready meals may be low in saturated fat, but they are often blasted with hydrogenated trans-fats to increase their shelf life – and these are the fats we really need to avoid. My advice is to avoid ready meals and processed foods as much as you can, and try to cook and prepare all your own meals.
For more healthy meals, tailored to your own personal energy demands that will put you body in fat burning mode, please visit www.thebodycoach.com/90dayplan/"
You can also follow me on social media at any of the links below:
Facebook: The Body Coach
Pinterest: The Body Coach
NOTE: This post is an extract from my ebook, Beach Lean In 15.
About Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks is the online nutrition coach inspiring people all over the world to cook with his #Leanin15 video meals on Instagram. He is also transforming the lives of thousands of people with his tailored online nutrition plan, The 90 Day Shift, Shape & Sustain plan.
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