What are ‘healthy fats’?
It wasn’t too long ago that leading health experts believed that fat was all-around bad news for your health. But—thankfully!—an emerging body of research is proving the opposite to be true: certain types of fat actually improve our health. Most of this “healthy fat” science focuses on two main categories of unsaturated fats—monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). PUFAs, which include omega-3 fatty acids, help regulate inflammation and appear to play a role in everything from heart health to mood and happiness. MUFAs may reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good kind. MUFAs also appear to target and shrink dangerous belly fat linked with metabolic disorders. These good-for-you unsaturated fats are critical for your head-to-toe health—and here are some clues that you might need to load up on more good fats in your daily meals. Watch out for these subtle signs that you’re eating too much bad fat.
You’re having trouble losing weight
It sounds completely counterintuitive, but you need to eat fat to burn fat. Katherine Zeratsky, RD, a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Fitness magazine that eating a small amount of unsaturated fats at each meal will help you feel more satisfied over a longer period of time, and therefore consume less overall. When it comes to the low-fat vs. low-carb weight loss debate, the latest science squarely favors low-carb diets. A randomized study from the National Institutes of Health recently found that low-carb eaters lost more weight (about eight pounds) than low-fat dieters over a 12-month period.