You Are Not Always What You Eat
Mimi ON Aug 03, 2012 AT 10:15 am
Contrary to popular belief, you are NOT always what you eat!
Scientific findings have clearly shown that eating fat doesn’t actually make you fat, so put down those low-fat labelled foods (the tend to be pumped full of sugar to replace the fat content) and start indulging in good, healthy fats.
Helping to curtail your appetite, which cuts the number of calories you consume in a day, whilst improving your heart health, boosting your metabolism and strengthening your skin, hair and nails, eating healthy fats are the key to a clean and lean body. But a word of warning, not all fats are created equal. Which means yes, those cookies, cakes and french fries are out.
But there are a whole host of delicious fatty foods that can actually help you lose excess body fat and we’ve picked our top five, for your reading – and eating pleasure.
Dark Chocolate can actually help to flatten your belly and you don’t even have to wait until dessert to indulge your sweet tooth. A recent study found that when men were asked to eat 3.5 ounces of either dark or milk chocolate two hours before a meal, those who ate the dark chocolate consumed 17 percent fewer calories during their meal than those who opted for the milk. Researchers believe that this is because dark chocolate contains pure cocoa butter, a source of digestion slowing stearic acid. In other words, dark chocolate takes more time to process and staves off hunger, which in turn helps you lose weight! But limit yourself to just a couple of pieces at a time and a minimum cocoa solids percentage of around 80.
Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols and heart strengthening monounsaturated fats, olive oil is a delicious alternative to butter or sugary, creamy dressings that should be incorporated into your daily diet. A recent study from Obesity found that an olive-oil rich diet such as the Mediterranean Diet, results in higher levels of adiponectin in the body, which is the hormone responsible for breaking down fats in the body. Bottom line? The more olive oil you take in the lower your BMI tends to be. Go ahead and reap the benefits by making olive oil your cooking fat of choice, we know we will!
Although coconut is high in saturated fat, more than half of that comes from lauric acid; a unique lipid that fights off bacteria and improves cholesterol levels. A study published in Lipids found that dietary supplementation of coconut oil reduced abdominal obesity. But rather than start glugging down the oh-so-popular Coconut Water drinks, which tend to be high in sugar (albeit natural), you’re far better off sprinkling coconut flakes over your yoghurts, salads or using coconut milk whilst cooking.
We’re constantly warned that our intake of red meat should be reduced to just once or twice a week, but rather than being ‘bad’ for us, grass fed beef actually contains super high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Grass fed beef is also naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat, which is a far healthier option for your body! Just think. a regular 7-ounce strip steak packs about 400 calories and 16 grams of fat, while a 7-ounce grass-fed strip steak is 235 calories and only has five grams of fat! You’ll save more than 150 calories and due to the rearing of the meat, it will be even more delicious!
Several studies have shown that almonds can help you lose weight despite their high fat content. A study from the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that almond-eaters experienced a 50 percent greater waistline reduction, than none almond eaters. How is this possible? Well, almonds contain compounds that limit the amount of fat absorbed by the body. But again, whilst almonds make a pretty perfect pre-breakfast and mid-afternoon snack, stick to just a handful of the nuts as they are extremely high in calories! Or for a change, try stirring some pure almond butter (check for those with hidden added sugars) into your porridge or spread onto toast with banana slices, for a perfect protein and carb hit. Delicious.