If you’re still on the low-fat band wagon, this may come as a surprise…but eating fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, eating enough fat is essential if you want to lose weight without starving yourself or suffering through severe mood swings where you’re constantly on the verge of biting off anyone’s head within a 6 ft radius.
I’m not talking about just any ole fatty foods, aka. McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC…come on…let’s be real, if eating refined fatty fast foods made you lose weight, do you think our country would be seeing incidences of obesity and diabetics in epidemic proportions?
The fat I’m talking about is good healthy fats and it’s in combination with good balanced ratios of protein and carbs. High quality proteins and mainly fresh vegetables and fruits for your carbs. Remember staying away from refined carbs and sugars is a must if you want to lose weight and get a lean healthy body!
But the reason I wanted to talk about fat, is that it’s often seen as an after thought. When you clean your diet up and start playing around with your macronutrients, protein and carbs get the most attention. Not surprising since protein helps you build lean muscle and restricting carbs by eating the right types of foods helps you burn fat and lose weight. But what about fat? See what I mean?
So what the heck is fat good for?
Well for starters fat provides the energy necessary to run all of your vital biochemical processes so you can live! Fat boosts your immune system to protect you from harmful diseases and it provides structural integrity so you can have healthy joints, skin, hair and nails. And when you’re on a lower carb diet, consuming ample amounts of fat satisfies your hunger and keeps you from feeling deprived. Needless to say, fat is super important. And getting enough fat in your diet is key to a healthy, strong and lean body!
You probably already know that eating foods like nuts (exception of peanuts) and seeds provide you with good healthy fats. And they do… but some people can’t tolerate them due to allergies, and they’re also relatively high in Omega 6 fatty acids (inflammatory in nature) vs. Omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory in nature). Which is why “coconuts” have been my “go-to” source for healthy fats for sometime now.
Now in order to explain the benefits of coconuts I have to geek out and give you a little scientific background, so bare with me.
Dietary fats are composed of a chemical structure known as triglycerides. Technically speaking triglycerides is a combination of glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains. Most naturally occurring dietary fats are made up of long fatty acid chains. The length of these fatty acid chains dictate the way our body metabolizes fat. And this is where coconuts have a healthy advantage. Coconuts, unlike most naturally occurring dietary fats, are made up of medium chain fatty acids (not long chain fatty acids).
Medium chain fatty acids (also know as MCT which is hot of medium chain triglycerides) act more like carbohydrates than fats. It’s more water soluble, it’s easily digested and it’s immediately utilized by liver for immediate energy use. Much like the way sugar is metabolized without the unwanted insulin spike… so you don’t have to worry about unwanted fat deposits.
There’s even been studies that indicate consuming coconuts can increase rate of fat burning and help prevent fat accumulation! Talk about literally, eating fat to lose fat!
Coconuts are also one of the most stable forms of saturated fats, so it doesn’t get oxidized (that’s when fat goes bad) very easily either, which makes it great for cooking in high heat. Although olive oil is by far the most popular cooking oil, it can’t handle high heat as well, so it’s best to use olive oil for cooking with low to medium heat instead.
Lately coconuts have become very popular and the demand for all things coconut is ever increasing. Now you can get pretty much anything made with coconuts… like coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut flakes, coconut chips, coconut sugar, coconut aminos, coconut vinegar and coconut flour.
Here are some of my favorite coconut products:
- Extra virgin 100% orgainc coconut oil for cooking (I like the Nutiva brand)
- Organic coconut milk for my protein shake
- Organic coconut amino to substitue for my soy sauce
- Organic coconut cream for my morning coffee
- Organic coconut flakes for a handy and nutritious snack
- Organic coconut vinegar to substitute for my balsamic vinegar
Yes, I admit it…I like my coconuts… but hey, it’s a great way to I get healthy fats!
P.S. By the way my friends at Thrive Market are giving away my favorite brand of free coconut oil (Nutiva) for FREE for limited time. If you’re a fan of coconut oil, I’d definitely take them up on their offer. They’re only putting aside 2000 jars of coconut oil so don’t wait! Claim your free jar of coconut oil here.
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