The Skinny on Healthy Fats


Think you have to omit fats from your diet if you're trying to lose weight? Here are 4 types of healthy fats and how they can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

If you want to lose weight in 2012, it's time to upgrade your perspective on how to go about it. Long gone are the days of "less is more" and avoiding the unfamiliar. Let's make this clear: fat does not make you fat. There are different kinds of fats that you actually need to include in your diet if you want to maintain a healthy body weight or to be really lean.

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  1. Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil may be one of the leading fats for weight loss because it is least likely to be stored in the body. It contains medium chain triglyceride so whereas other fats are stored in cells, the fatty acids in coconut oil are sent to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy. lists benefits of coconut oil including stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, improved hair, skin, nails, and much more. Try something new - swap out your existing oil with coconut oil and reap the increased health benefits.

  2. Fish Oil

    Fatty acids are essential to cell function. nicely explains the value of fish oil in healthy diets. Fish oil is a great source of the parent molecule of omega 3s, Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which cannot be made by the body. ALA gets converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA is usually associated with focus and behavior. DHA is given to pregnant women because of its role in the development of infant brains and eyes. There are no known side effects of taking fish oil for people who have no allergies to fish. Don't like the taste of fish? No problem, fish oil is conveniently available as a supplement that you can add to your daily vitamins. According to the Healthnotes database, arthritic people can take 3,000 mg a day and bipolar patients can take up to 9,600 mg daily.

  3. Flax Oil

    Flax oil is a vegetarian option for obtaining omega 3s with similar benefits as fish oil. One difference between flaxseed and fish oil is that flax seeds actually contain fiber and can be eaten in food to add texture and flavor!

  4. Evening Primrose

    Nicknamed "the women's happy pill," the Gamma-linolenic acids (GLA) in Evening Primrose Oil provide omega-6s to the body. Evening Primrose is taken in doses up to 1300 mg for women suffering from PMS or menopause symptoms. It has shown to be beneficial in the relief of mood swings. It's also great for hair, skin, and nails.

Other great sources of healthy fats are olive oil, canola oil, chia seeds, salba seeds and nuts. They can help you lose weight by teaching your body to utilize fats for energy and eating the right fats can actually increase your health.