How Monounsaturated Fats Help Reduce Belly Fat

Not All Fats Are Bad For You!

Knowing the difference between ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats is extremely important when mapping out your dietary guidelines. Dietary fat is a vital energy source as it is used in the production of hormones and cell membranes. It also plays an important fole regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood vessel constriction, blood clotting, and the nervous system. These fats aid in the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, E and K into the body.

Eating the ‘bad’ type of fat can harm your health. Fat accumulating around theabdomen increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Doctors recommend that people who are heavier in the midsection, reduce this area with diet and exercise.

Dark ChocolateAccording to a study that appeared in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) may help reduce abdominal fat better than a carbohydrate rich diet.When test subjects ate a carbohydrate enriched diet, they tended to accumulate fat in the abdomen. When they ate a diet that had more MUFA, abdominal fat concentration decreased, even without exercise.

How can you tell the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats? The healthy (good) fats, monounsaturated fat (MUFA), remains liquid at room temperature but may start to solidfy in colder temperatures such as the refrigerator. Oils that remain in liquid form at room temperature and in the refrigerator are polyunsaturated fats which include vegetable oils like safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed. Polyunsaturated oils with omega-3 fatty acids are found mostly in fat-rich seafood like salmon, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, and canola oil.

Contrasting the ‘good’ fats are saturated fats which become solid or semi-solid at room temperature. Those fats include butter, animal foods (red meat), coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, and even olive oil. Limiting your intake of these fats will help promote better health. Being aware of what fats your body needs is the first step in recognizing how these types can affect your body’s longevity. Trans fats should be avoided if possible as these raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.

What are some foods that are MUFA rich?

OLIVES: Great source of iron, vitamin E and copper.
OILS: Olive, Canola, Peanut, Flaxseed, Sunflower, Safflower, Soybean oils
NUTS/SEEDS: Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Raw Almonds, and Pistachios
AVOCADOS: Great for the eyes as its a source of lutein. They are also rich in fiber, vitamin K, potassium and folate
DARK CHOCOLATE: Helps raise good cholesterol (HDL). Provides important minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

It’s important to remember that a MUFA rich diet should still be a calorie-controlled diet. The USDA recommends an approximate 2,000 calorie a day diet to maintain a healthy weight, depending on age, gender and activity level.