High-fat diets are one of the most popular weight loss trends right now. You most likely already know a friend, family member, or celebrity who has tried it. Advocates of high-fat diets, like the keto diet, claim that they’re chock-full of benefits. High-fat diets generally require that most of your calories come from fats, a smaller amount from protein and a tiny portion from carbs. But are high-fat diets actually good for you?
Beginning in the 1940s, scientists cautioned against high-fat diets because early studies suggested there was a correlation between high-fat diets and high cholesterol. Despite no definitive proof, “high-fat” became a dirty phrase. Instead, general guidelines told the public that low-fat diets were the best way to be healthy and lose weight. All these years later, many studies are actually proving the opposite. The term “high-fat” is finally losing its negative connotation thanks to more recent research that has been conducted on how eating more fat and less carbs can positively affect weight loss and overall health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The “Good” Fat
A common misconception is that all fats are bad. However, there are good fats that are essential to building and maintaining a healthy body. It certainly sounds like an oxymoron because of fats’ notorious reputation but that is mostly due to hydrogenated oils, which are found in “bad” foods like ice cream, potato chips, and fast food.
The good fats we’re talking about are Omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in foods like nuts, avocados, eggs, fish, and olive oil. Those on high-fat diets naturally begin to consume these beneficial fats more. For example, processed foods are typically high in carbs and bad fat. These foods are immediately discarded from diets because they are too high in carbs.
How to Consume Enough Good Fats
In order to reap the full benefits of omega-3, you should eat two servings of fatty fish, like salmon, each week. If the thought of eating fish regularly discouraged you, you’re not alone. Many dislike the taste of fish or can’t stand the thought of eating two servings of fish each week.
Smarter Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid supplement with more than 1800 mg of Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) from wild-caught pollock and Pacific whiting. Oil is extracted on the same day the fish are caught and is rapidly sealed in veggie softgels for guaranteed freshness and unmatched potency. In addition to fish oil, Smarter Omega-3 is formulated with grape seed Extract, olive fruit, and sesame seed lignan extract for additional health benefits that support the circulatory, immune and nervous systems.
High-Fat: Fact or Fiction?
There is a lot of misinformation about high-fat diets and consuming fat in general. We dug into a few beliefs that commonly circulate the wellness community to find out what is fact and what is fiction.
1. “You lose more weight following a low-fat diet.”
Fiction. Every body is different. However, there are numerous studies where participants lost more weight on a high-fat diet than those following low-fat plans. For example, in a 2014 study, 60 people considered overweight followed either a low-fat diet or a high-fat diet for 12 weeks while restricting their caloric intake. The results are staggering. The high-fat participants lost an average of 13.6 pounds while their low-fat counterparts only lost an average of 7.5 pounds.
2. “High-fat diets increase cholesterol”
Fiction. In the same study, those on the high-fat diet didn’t exhibit a rise in LDL cholesterol, which is bad for you. LDL can be dangerous because when an excess of it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, you increase the chances of heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, the studies that measured advanced lipid markers actually saw improvements.
While cholesterol is usually brought up in a negative context, we also have “good” cholesterol called HDL that helps remove LDL by absorbing it and carrying it back to the liver where it’s flushed out of the body. Ironically, consuming more fat in your diet helps raise your HDL levels. When your HDL levels are high, an improvement in metabolic health and a decrease of cardiovascular disease has been shown.
3. “Eating too much fat increases the risk for diabetes”
Both. This statement is tricky because it insinuates that all fats are the same, which you know by now isn’t true. Of course, if you eat burgers and fries from your local fast food joint every day, you’re going to increase your risk for diabetes. But, consuming foods high in omega-3’s, like fatty fish and avocados, can actually help decrease those odds!
Many people with type 2 diabetes actually use the keto diet to improve their blood glucose levels. High-fat diets can potentially lower blood glucose levels because they require you to manage your carb intake. In a 2017 study, participants found more success with the keto diet versus the more traditional low-fat diabetes diet.
4. “High-fat diets can affect your gut health”
Fact. When you’re eating more fat and less carbs, your gut balance can be thrown off. High-fat dieters can experience an increase in gas, bloating. and constipation. If your gut isn’t healthy, your weight loss can be stalled and your energy levels can be impacted.
It is imperative to take a probiotic supplement when following a high-fat diet to help balance the changes in your gut. Smarter Gut Health is a soil-based probiotic with a prebiotic that can help reset your gut with the right bacterial balance for improved digestion. Smarter Gut Health provides your body with ancient hearty strains of probiotics only found in soil. Traditional probiotics sold in stores are too fragile to be very effective, but Smarter Gut Health is made with probiotics that survive heat and stomach acid in order to deliver good bacteria throughout your GI tract.
Food for Thought
So, yes, a high-fat diet can actually be good for you when consumed correctly! Remember, not all fats are created equal, and it’s essential to focus on good fats to reap all of the potential rewards a high-fat diet has to offer. In addition to eating high-fat foods, consider supplements like omega-3 and probiotics to support your body’s essential functions throughout your wellness journey.
Always consult your physician before beginning any diet. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.