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Corporate Wellness

Choosing Healthy Fats

Don’t avoid fat at all cost, in fear of gaining weight or clogging arteries. There are healthy fats that are actually beneficial for both. Fat free items have become big business, capitalizing on that fear. In reality, those fat free items are normally less healthy than their fat alternative. Yogurt is one example. The company removes the fat, but that takes the texture and flavor out of the yogurt. They replace that fat with sugar, which is far worse than the healthy fat it contained. It causes weight gain, doesn’t leave you satisfied like fat and has multiple negative effects on your health.

Not all fats are alike.

There are bad fats, like trans fat. Trans fat can occur in small amounts, which don’t negatively impact health and may even have healthy benefits. The bad trans fat is artificially created when oil is combined with hydrogen at high pressures, creating hydrogenated oil. While it extends the shelf life, it’s difficult for the body to properly digest, can increase the bad cholesterol in the body and cause damage to the arteries. It’s used to fry foods and often found in junk food, fast food and pastry.

Which fats are healthier?

You may have read that saturated fats are horrible for your body, but that may not be true. There are three types of trans fat, saturated and unsaturated. In the category of unsaturated, there are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. While saturated fat may have health benefits, there are some benefits to replacing it with unsaturated fat in your diet. For instance, choosing polyunsaturated fat, such as food with omega-3 or omega-6 can be heart healthy. Those foods help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol profiles, lower the risk of dementia and heart disease and keep heart rhythms normal.

How can fat help you lose fat?

It sounds almost impossible, but fat—the right type of fat—can help you lose weight. Not only is healthy fat responsible for many functions in the body, it helps you feel fuller longer. You need healthy fat for the brain to function properly, to lubricate joints, produce hormones, aid the nervous system and produce hormones. Healthy fat helps keep you feeling fuller longer and stabilizes blood sugar levels, so you don’t overproduce insulin. The higher the insulin levels, the more potential there is for insulin resistance, which can pack on the pounds and lead to the accumulation of belly fat and diabetes.

  • When you eat carbs, they digest quickly, spiking your blood sugar and then dropping, leaving you feeling hungry. Healthy fats can also boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.
  • You need healthy fat to get adequate vitamins A, D, K and E. If you want a healthy immune system, you need vitamin D. Studies show that obese individuals are often low on vitamin D, but whether the obesity caused the deficiency or the deficiency caused the obesity is not known.
  • Medium-chain triglycerides—MCTs—are another type of healthy fat found in coconut oil. It metabolizes differently. The body immediately uses it as energy, so the body can use it, so it doesn’t store as fat. It also can increase the number of calories burned, which boosts metabolism.
  • Which foods have healthy fat? Coconut oil has MCTs. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, nuts and seeds. Walnuts and mayonnaise have polyunsaturated fat and grass-fed beef and milk products from grass-fed cows are high in healthy saturated fats.

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