Even just a few years back, you still had folks practically screaming at you from your television that eating fat was making you fat. An entire diet industry was built on the belief that fat was bad for us.
You didn’t even have to be very health-conscious. Unless you were living under a rock, if you wanted to lose weight, protect your heart and be healthy you knew that low-fat was the way to go. And the lower the better.
They declared fat enemy number one.
The only problem is it’s not true. And those folks who were doing all that screaming have now become curiously quiet.
The concept that fat is bad for you and it should be dumped from your diet was built on assumptions, faulty science and incomplete information. But it’s an idea that’s proving tough to kill.
To this day, it still shocks people to learn that even saturated fats have never been definitively linked to heart disease. Or that omega-3 fatty acids are proven health boosters.
But the truth is most people who follow ultra-low-fat diets tend to be less healthy than those who continue to eat a reasonable amount of healthy fats.
Have your healthy fats dropped too low?
So how do you know if you’re getting enough healthy fats in your own diet?
Well, if you’re experiencing any of these four telltale signs, you may just want to go ahead and order that extra side of guacamole…
1. Can’t lose weight:
It’s the ultimate irony. You turn to low-fat meals to lose weight. But your healthy fat levels drop too low, bringing weight loss to a screeching halt.
Instead, increase your healthy fats and decrease your carbohydrates. You’ll find yourself feeling fuller, longer. Which means you end up eating less and losing those last few pounds. And your metabolism will run more efficiently too.
Not convinced? A study out of Canada found that women of retirement age who ate plenty of healthy fats had more effective metabolisms both when resting and during exercise. In other words, their bodies burned more fat when they ate more fat.
And a small but revealing study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that folks who ate plenty of monounsaturated fats shed belly fat (the kind that’s the worst for your health) faster than people who ate more carbs.
2. Joints ache:
No matter if you’re dealing with full-blown arthritis, or just battling AM stiffness, your diet can ease the ache or prolong the pain.
Healthy fats help reduce the inflammation behind stiff, achy joints. And research has shown DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3s found in fish, are linked to lower inflammation levels and smoother joints.
3. Vision is blurry:
Don’t just chalk up your blurry vision to “old eyes.” Researchers followed a group of volunteers for 12 years in the ground-breaking Age-Related Eye Disease Study. And they discovered that folks who were eating oily fish and getting plenty of healthy fat in their diets were 30 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Experts say the healthy fatty acids help to prevent pressure from building-up. And another study, published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology, found not only could healthy fats help prevent the development of glaucoma; they might also help treat folks who already have it.
4. Brain fog:
Whether you call them brain burps or senior moments, we all blank out on a name or forget a date from time to time. But if you’re finding it increasingly hard to recall information and to concentrate, a lack of healthy fats could be behind your brain fog.
If a lack of fat is to blame, a single serving of fish per week could be enough to clear out that fog and restore your thinking. Research has shown the omega-3s in fish can protect synaptic function. Which is just a fancy way of saying healthy fats keep your brain firing on all cylinders.
Eating too few fats can do you far more harm than good. If you’ve drastically cut the fats in your diet and are experiencing one or more of these telltale signs eating more healthy fats could help turn things around.
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