A healthy and balanced diet, rich in essential nutrients is vital to overall health. A balanced diet is crucial as it helps prevent nutritional deficiencies and reduces the risk of developing various medical conditions. Since excess fat intake is commonly associated with obesity, high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases, you may be wondering ”is a zero fat diet good?” Especially when looking to lose those extra pounds. According to research, it is unhealthy and therefore it not recommended to completely eliminate fats from your diet in order to achieve your weight loss goals naturally.
The Role of Fat and Why a Zero Fat Diet Is Not Advised
Fats or lipids play many key roles in the human body. Primarily they serve as the primary energy sources for the body and protect the vital organs such as the liver against certain diseases, especially those caused by toxic compounds, substances or chemicals.
Fats also aid in the proper assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and vitamin K (for coagulation of the blood. Lipids also help maintain body temperature and promote healthy cell function, hair and skin. All these being said, a zero fat diet is not a good idea if you value your health.
The Different Types of Fat
I am not telling you to run out and eat any fat in sight. Excess fat intake can affect negatively your health and cause various medical disorders, especially if you overindulge in trans-fat. This is why, for your own good, it is essential to choose the right type of fat to be included in your daily diet.
1. Saturated Fat
Saturated fats pose the biggest question on the dietary world right now. Traditionally it has been blamed for weight issues, heart disease and diabetes. Recently, however the jury has been out on how bad saturated fats really are. This is because not all saturated fats are created equal. Naturally occurring saturated fats are highly beneficial and should be held distinct from artificially created saturates (called trans-fats). Some diet such as the paleo diet actually recommend natural saturates as a necessary part of our eating programme.
Saturated fat can be found in butter, cheese, animal fats etc. Research has recently shown that eliminating these fats has only led to people turning to increase carbohydrate intake which is much worse for coronary, weight and diabetes complications.
It is currently not recommended to eliminate saturated fat but to embrace unprocessed saturates. In fact, it is highly encouraged to consume one in particular – Coconut Oil. One of the miracle oils that is a saturated fat but is so very good for you is coconut oil. It has a plethora of benefits for your health, your heart, your brain, your thyroid your skin, your hair. It is known to boost the metabolism, fight infection and boost the immune system.
2. Trans Fats
This type of fat is the bad one. Stay away. Trans-fats have been found to cause coronary complications and to create significant weight issues.
Trans fats were created artificially by processing vegetable based or unsaturated fats into saturated fats. They can be found in many processed foods such as cakes, muffins, hamburger buns, margarine, donuts, crisps and frozen dinners. To recognise a trans-fat in your food, then look on the label. If there is “partially hydrogenated fat” then you will be eating trans-fats.
3. Polyunsaturated Fats
This is the traditional ”good” type of fat, which means that even in larger amounts it poses less risk to your health. As with everything, moderation is the key.
Polyunsaturated fats are beneficial as they are key to lowering cholesterol and also have been thought to aid weightloss as they provide all the good nutrients we mentioned before found in fat.
The most common foods you can find them in are fatty fish (salmon, trout), seeds, walnut oil, flaxseed oil.
4. Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats can not only help you achieve faster the desired weight, but also improve your overall health. They are helpful in the lowering of cholesterol and also are rich in Vitamin E.
Olive oil for instance is a rich source of monounsaturated fat, it has a plethora of health benefits including weight. Olive oil reduces LDL cholesterol ( or ”bad” cholesterol) levels, and other cardiovascular disorders and it is high in natural antioxidants. Olive oil, flaxseed oil and hemp oil are also rich sources of essential fatty acids ( Omega 3, 6 and 9) which the human body needs for proper functioning but cannot produce them.
Other foods rich in mono-unsaturates include avocado, peanut butter and many nuts and seeds.
The answer to the question “is a zero fat diet good” is negative. A healthy diet should always include moderate fats and when looking to lose weight, it is important to pay attention to the amount of fats consumed daily and make sure your intake is at the recommended levels and that you favour fats that are going to promote your well-being.