Want to know what the best healthy fats you should be eating for weight loss are?
And what fatty foods you should avoid?
In this post, you’ll learn:
- The different types of fats
- The benefits of healthy fats
- Examples of healthy fats
- Examples of fat foods to avoid
- How much fat you should be in your macros
- How to eat more healthy fats
What are the 4 types of healthy fats?
Saturated fats are what you would call an unhealthy fat. But why unhealthy? Because eating too many foods high in saturated fats can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
And so how can you tell which foods are high in saturated fats? Well, besides reading a nutrition label, you can mainly tell if foods are high in saturated fat because they turn solid at room temperature.
An example of a couple of saturated fats are:
- Red meat
- Chicken skin
- Coconut Oik
- Palm Oil
This is another “unhealthy fat.” But why? These fats were initially healthy oils put through a process to turn them from a liquid to a solid to prevent them from getting moldy, smelly, or pretty much go bad.
A couple of examples of these are:
- Microwave popcorn
- stick margarine
- Refrigerated dough (yes that’s you, Mr. Pillsbury dough boy)
Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats and are liquid are room temperature, but do start to turn solid when chilled.
An example of monounsaturated fats are:
- Nuts and nut butter
- Vegetable Oils
Polyunsaturated fats are another healthy fat on the list that is essential to your body. Which means we need polyunsaturated fats.
Just like monounsaturated fats, there are liquid when at room temperature.
And a couple of examples of polyunsaturated fats are:
- Flax Seeds
- Canola Oils
- Unhydrogenated soybean oil
- Good sources of omega -3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and sardines
Why is it important to eat healthy fats?
In the past, fats, just like carbs, have built up a bad reputation, and the reason why when you go grocery shopping, you’ll find packaging advertising “low fat” or “zero-fat.”
The truth is if it doesn’t have fat, it’s going to have carbs – you just can’t win, huh.
Here’s why you shouldn’t avoid eating fats.
Healthy fats feed your body with a ton of nutrients and are beneficial.
Here’s a list of some of the perks you get from eating more healthy fats every day:
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Supporting healthy hearts
- Reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke
- Help you feel fuller longer because they are slow-digesting
- Help satisfy your cravings when it’s the time of the month
What are some examples of healthy fats?
- Fatty fish – salmon
- Whole eggs
- Nut Butters
- Oils – Extra virgin Olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil
- Nuts – Cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans,
- Seeds – Chia, flax, pumpkin
- Dark Chocolate
Because fats are slow-digesting, I love taking healthy fats with me anytime I go hiking or know I it will be a while until my next meal.
How much fat should be in macros
There really is no cap on how much fat you should eat. But there is a minimum amount of fat you should eat when counting macros.
Why? Because fats play in role in helping build and control our hormones.
And eating too little fat can throw your hormones out of whack and can actually leave you feeling hungry.
But why hungry?
You see, out of the three macronutrients, fats hold the most calories.
At nine calories per gram vs. the four calories, protein and carbs carry. More calories, the longer it takes for the food to digest. And this is why snacking on nuts or any healthy fats can help you feel fuller longer.
So at the end of the day, whether you’re tracking macros or not, it’s recommended that you eat no lower than 0.8 grams per KG.
Related article: The Complete Guide to Calculating Your Macros (for Beginners)
Is it ok to go over fat macros?
When I first started tracking macros, I nailed hitting all three macros every single day, but over time it’s just not something you can always do.
Especially if you’re eating out at a restaurant and because you’re not going to always carry a food scale with you.
Your carbs and fats can be interchangeable. As long as you focus on not going over your calorie goal for the day if you are trying to lose weight and not going below the minimum recommended fat – how much fat you eat per day does not matter.
What fatty foods to avoid
If you’re new here, I preach a lot about categorizing foods as bad or good, because your definition of good and bad can differ mine.
So here’s my take on it.
We can undo science.
And science says saturated fats are unhealthy. Remember, these are the fats that have been messed with, and you can typically tell what foods have saturated fat because they are solid.
So, to all the butter, ice cream, and coconut oil (just a few examples) worldwide. Am I never going to eat it?
Go ahead and still enjoy a scoop of ice cream, but aim to eat less than 10% saturated fats and trans fat.
How can I eat healthy fats
Healthy fats are not hard to come by. They are extremely easy to include in every meal like sprinkling chia seeds over your oatmeals, tossing an avocado in a protein smoothies to make it extra creamy, and adding a tablespoon over fruit and yogurt or icecream.
I want to say that because fats are higher in calories, it is easy for an extra tablespoon of peanut butter or olive oil to put you out of your deficit if you’re trying to lose weight.
I mean, just look at this, one tablespoon of olive oil is 140 calories.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but 140 calories coming from oils feel a whole lot different than 140 calories coming from 10 ounces of blueberries.
If you’re eating out, ask for sauces on the side as this is the easiest way to lose track of what you’re eating.
Related article: 21 Low-Calorie Sauces That’ll Bring Life to Your Meals
Final Thoughts on good fats for weight loss
Healthy fats don’t make you fat. And if anything, your body needs then to fight off and control, creating things going on in your body like leveling your cholesterol, taking care of your heart health, and making them the perfect food to satisfy your hunger.
Don’t even think about stressing going over your fat macros, but instead focus on not eating lower than the recommended fat intake. You want to avoid throwing those hormones out of whack.
Let me know what are some of your favorite healthy fats?
P.S On those days during your time of the month when you crave everything, whip yourself up a sweet dish. I usually love a plant-based yogurt mixed with a protein over frozen berries and 2 tbsp of peanut butter.
Related Articles to the importance of healthy fats
- The Complete Guide to Calculating Your Macros (for Beginners)
- Your Simple Beginner’s Guide to Myfitnesspal
- 21 Low-Calorie Sauces That’ll Bring Life to Your Meals
- The Best High Protein Vegetables (You Need to Be Eating These)
- How to Easily Use a Food Scale to Track Your Macros