Healthy Fats Essential in Weight Loss Diet

Healthy Fats Essential in Weight Loss Diet

Most people who have dedicated themselves to weight loss in Williamsburg, VA, and across the nation, know that they should be including so-called “healthy fats” in their nutritious diet plans. Many may not really understand why this is. Read on to learn more about how healthy fats actually support fat loss.

Some fat is necessary in the diet. Without it, hormone synthesis is compromised and cells don’t get all the nutrition they need. A nutritious diet, even one designed with weight loss in mind, should consist of 25 percent of daily calories (along with 30 percent protein and 55 percent carbohydrates). In a weight loss diet, you’ll be consuming fewer calories overall, so while the percentages remain the same, the actual number will be smaller. Some fat choices are smarter than others.

Healthy fats are those which are naturally unsaturated. Saturation refers to molecular structure, the details of which won’t be described here – in short, saturated fats are fully bonded, and are solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats, with one or more unbonded links, are liquid at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fats remain liquid in the refrigerator, while monounsaturated fats solidify.

Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts and peanuts, are the most healthful. Studies have found that these actually improve the ratio of good to bad blood cholesterol, strengthen the heart and arteries, and lower blood pressure. There is some evidence, not fully understood at present, that they also have a protective effect against diabetes.

Polyunsaturated fats, like safflower and corn oil, may be enjoyed in moderation, but should be replaced with monounsaturated fats wherever it is feasible. They should never be used in cooking, as even moderate heat leads to rancidity. Monounsaturated fats can be used over low to moderate heat.

Trans fats should be avoided at all costs. This is another reference to molecular structure: fats as they occur in nature have what is called a cis configuration. When liquid oils are synthetically restructured to be more solid, this results in a configuration in which the substituents are arranged differently, which is termed trans. As it happens, the body cannot break down trans fats as efficiently even as it can saturated fats, resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Manufacturers are now required to state explicitly on their nutritional labels when trans fats are used.

As you develop a weight loss strategy for yourself, it’s a great idea to work with a fitness trainer. In Williamsburg VA, personal training helps people at all different levels, from beginner to competitive athlete, and with all different kinds of goals, from losing fat to pushing past a pesky plateau in muscular growth.

Your Williamsburg, VA, personal trainer is a wonderful resource for you in learning about modifying your diet to support your weight loss and fitness goals. An understanding of the elements of nutrition, including the incorporation of healthy fats, greatly improves your rate of success. A personal trainer can help you develop a customized plan that will be easy for you to follow and which will support your own goals.


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