The Benefit of Healthy Fats on Metabolism
Calories in, calories out is certainly NOT how weight loss works. It might hold a tiny bit of weight, but … not much! The quality of those calories is of utmost importance. When the body burns sugar or carbs as its primary fuel, it is harder for the body to access and burn body fat. When insulin levels are relatively high, we are not able to access our stored fat. With the modern day diet, most people have higher blood sugar and therefore high insulin levels and cannot get to those fat stores. In fact, many people will choose to lower calories and still eat foods high in simple carbs and this in turn lowers metabolism. I see so many people in my practice who have tried everything and can’t lose a pound!
If you want to rev up the fat burning process in the body, one thing that has been shown to be effective in legit research is to eat more healthy fats. Another piece of the pie would be to limit net carbs (notice I did not say omit … balance is important here). Fat is a preferred fuel source for the body (eating healthy fats in moderate amounts that is) and it tends to burn cleaner and more efficiently than most carbohydrates. The brain loves glucose (or sugar) but it also loves the ketones from fat break down.
High Healthy Fats and Lower Net Carbs
Many recent studies suggest evidence that high-fat, low net-carb diets have a positive impact on body composition. Through this process, metabolism is revved up and fat burns cleaner and more efficiently. I have found that my patient population reports an improvement in energy, a decrease in inflammation, elevated moods, improved mental clarity and an overall improvement in body composition. I do not follow the “one size fits all” approach to diet. I uniquely tailor a program WITH the person that is sitting in front of me. However, I have asked certain patients of mine over the past few months to give this a try. It was a stretch at first to change habits. Yet, once they got it, 95% of them loved it. We monitored body composition weekly for 9 weeks and there was consistent improvement. Experimentation can be fun! Here is the program suggested:
- Limit your net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) to a maximum of 30 to 40 grams per day. You can consume as many high-fiber veggies as you like. They’re carbs, but since they’re high in fiber, they’re typically quite low in net carbs.
- Limit your protein to a maximum of 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass; this was measured on our InBody body composition analyzer
- Increase your intake of healthy fats to 50 to 85 percent of your daily calories.
All of this could be recorded on an app such as my Fitness pal.
GOOD FATS AND BAD FATS
Which Dietary Fats to AVOID
Like anything, not all fats are created equal and some are actually harmful. The ones that I encourage people to avoid are trans-fats which act create oxidative stress and cause cellular damage; highly refined vegetable oils such as peanut, corn and soy oil which are high in omega 6 and create toxic oxidation products when heated. Overall, if you can limit your diet to only 10% or less of omega 6 fats that will be beneficial.
Healthy Saturated Fats
There are actually healthy saturated fats found in animal products and coconut oil. These have been shown to
increase your large LDL particles that are NOT associated with an increased risk of heart disease. They have also shown to increase HDL levels which lower risk of heart disease and can compensate for rises in LDL. The double bonds in these fats also make them more “sturdy” and are not damaged in oxidation. These are clean burning fats for the mitochondria and brain and produce less free radicals than sugar and simple carbohydrates.
As I said, this is not for everyone. This is not for those who have issues with fat digestion. However, this has been a great lifestyle diet for many of my HCG Diet patients over this past year and has shown an incredibly positive effect on energy sustainability and body composition.