If you’re trying to lose weight, your first instinct may be to avoid fat altogether. But cutting all fat from your diet can actually be dangerous, because your body needs it to operate effectively. Research shows what matters is the type of fat you consume.
Whether you’re on a diet or not, you should try to avoid excessive consumption of trans fats, which increase the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity, liver dysfunction and other health conditions. Good fats, on the other hand, like monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), can help prevent heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and even reduce insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is the bane of many dieters, and often one of the main reasons why you can’t shift those last five kilos. Insulin resistance has also been linked to serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes. MUFAs play a preventative role in insulin resistance by controlling your blood sugar and insulin levels. If you consume them moderately as part of a balanced diet, they can also help you to shift stubborn belly fat. This includes the harmful visceral fat that surrounds the organs in your abdomen.
Avocados, olives, nuts and seeds used to be out of bounds for dieters due to their high fat content. Whilst it’s true that gorging on these foods may cause you to gain weight, they are nutritional powerhouses when eaten in moderation. Research has shown that the MUFAs from these foods help you to eat less by making you feel fuller, reducing those pesky food cravings. Studies have also shown that they help to prevent insulin resistance and pre-diabetes, but only when eaten on a regular basis.
Getting more MUFAs into your diet is easy. Simply sprinkle some shopped nuts and seeds over your morning yoghurt or cereal (with some Naturally Sweet Xylitol for sweetness), or use them as a healthy afternoon snack - just make sure you measure out the amount so you don’t overeat. Avocados make a fabulous ingredient for dairy-free smoothies (with a few drops of liquid Stevia SweetDrops for flavour), giving them a rich, creamy texture. Including olives in your diet couldn’t be simpler: they make a perfect late-night snack and work well with crudités.
Healthy fats like MUFAs are a great way to manage your weight and reduce insulin resistance. Diabetes is currently the sixth most common cause of death in Australia, so taking action is important.