Weight-loss Basics: A Guide To Fat Intake

Believe it or not, not all fat is bad fat. In fact, there are certain fats that you should definitely include in your diet if you are looking to lose weight quickly and safely. Why, you ask? Because fat plays an important role in a balanced diet.

Healthy fats help your body in a variety of ways. They help provide you with energy, it aids hormone production and nutrient absorption, protects your organs, and promotes cell growth.

Because fats are the last nutrient to leave the digestive tract, they help you to feel fuller for longer, which prevents overeating and unplanned snacking.

Fat is the most calorie-dense of all the macronutrients, at nine calories per gram. 

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat

Fats that you should be including in your weight-loss meal plan are polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.

Polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish, flaxseed and liquid plant-based cooking oils. Monounsaturated fats include nuts, seeds, and avocados. These fats can decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They also reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature and comes from natural sources such as meat – particularly red meat – and dairy. Some plants and their oils are also high in saturated fat, like coconut oil. Saturated fats are foods like full-fat butter, cream, and cheese. 

Your saturated fat intake should be 10 percent or less of your total daily caloric intake.

What Fat Should I Be Eating?

We suggest that your total healthy fat intake should make up between 20 and 30 percent of your total calories. However, you can eat less or more fat, depending on your specific caloric goals.

Once you have decided what percentage of your calories should come from fat, convert this number to a decimal, for example, 30 percent of fat would be 0.3. Then take the total number of calories you want to eat per day, based on your goals, and multiply it by the decimal value. Finally, divide the number of calories from fat by nine to get the grams of fat.

A few fantastic ways to get more healthy fats into your diet include using mashed avocado as a condiment, adding nut butter to a smoothie, drizzling olive oil and balsamic vinegar on your salad and using seeds or nuts as toppings on salads and yoghurt. When it comes to sweet treats, opt for dark chocolate and snack on nuts instead of chips. 


Artificial Trans Fat

Although we have discussed how a good intake of fat is healthy, there is a particular fat that you should be avoiding. This is called artificial trans fat, also known as manufactured fat. We don’t want to get too scientific here, but artificial trans fats are created when hydrogen molecules are pumped into vegetable oils, and this process creates a more solid fat that prolongs the shelf life of food.

Artificial trans fats can significantly increase your risk of heart disease and cause inflammation. They can also damage the inner lining of your blood vessels and could even drive insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

The tricky thing about artificial trans fats is that they can be found in just about any processed food including potato and corn chips, meat pies and sausage rolls, canned frosting, cakes, crackers, biscuits, donuts, and frozen pizzas. The best way to avoid eating artificial trans fats is to check the labels of what you’re eating. Food manufacturers are required to indicate the amount of artificial trans fats in grams on labels. Also, check ingredient lists to ensure you avoid foods with the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.

There is one more type of fat to consider if you are trying to lose weight quickly and safely and that is natural trans fats. Trans fats often occur naturally in some meats and dairy foods. 

If you are looking for more basic weight-loss guides to help you lose weight quickly, yet safely, visit our blog.