Curb Hunger: Add Good Fats to Your Diet

While all fats have the potential to curb appetites, attention should be made to what is termed 'good' or 'healthy fat' as opposed to bad or unhealthy ones. 

Jul. 3, 2016
By Joy R. Calderwood

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Still fight­ing the weight loss bat­tle? Are you under doc­tor’s instruc­tions to lose weight? If so, aside from exer­cis­ing and watch­ing your caloric intake, you might want to think about your fat intake. 

There is sci­en­tific evi­dence con­firm­ing the neg­a­tive effects of unhealthy fats in a per­son’s diet. There is also evi­dence that a lit­tle bit of healthy fat in a per­son’s diet is essen­tial for effec­tive weight loss. Why is that? It’s thought that con­sum­ing an ade­quate amount of fat may result in feel­ing more sati­ated. A lit­tle healthy fat slows the emp­ty­ing of the stom­ach with the poten­tial to keep you feel­ing full longer. It makes sense that the less hun­gry you are, the less excess calo­ries you’ll consume. 

Not All Fats are Equal

While all fats have the poten­tial to curb appetites, atten­tion should be made to what is termed good or healthy fat as opposed to bad or unhealthy fat. 

Good or Healthy Fat: Healthy fats include unsat­u­rated fats that fit into three cat­e­gories: monoun­sat­u­rated, polyun­sat­u­rated, and Omega‑3 fatty acids. These fats can be instru­men­tal in low­er­ing LDL (bad) cho­les­terol while boost­ing HDL (good) cho­les­terol. These good fats are found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, cold-water fish, and avo­ca­dos, to name a few. 

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Bad or Unhealthy Fat: Unhealthy fats include sat­u­rated and trans-unsat­u­rated fats. These fats can raise LDL (bad) cho­les­terol and increase the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, type 2 dia­betes, and weight gain. These fats are found in deep fried foods; com­mer­cially pre­pared cook­ies, pies, and donuts; and processed foods. 

Adopt These Tips

To help you make the right choices where fats are con­cerned, fol­low these tips:

  • Read the prod­uct labels on pack­aged foods. If hydro­genated oil is listed in the first few ingre­di­ents, avoid the product.
  • Exchange some of the prod­ucts in your pantry. Have some good fats on hand to add to your diet. 
  • Keep con­sump­tion of all fats in mod­er­a­tion as all fats are heavy in calories.
  • Sauté meats or stir-fry veg­eta­bles in olive oil instead of but­ter or other oils.
  • Choose bak­ing or broil­ing over frying.
  • Trim vis­i­ble fat from meat, and remove skin from poultry.
  • Reconsider low-fat diets. Adding a lit­tle good fat into your diet may help you feel sat­is­fied longer.

The rules of what’s good for you and what’s not con­tinue to change as sci­ence advances. Staying vig­i­lant, read­ing prod­uct labels, and mak­ing small mod­i­fi­ca­tions to your diet will always be required if you’re to reach your goal of avoid­ing dis­ease and main­tain­ing a healthy weight. 

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