So you’ve decided to lose weight—and that means getting rid of that stubborn fat that’s been hanging around your midsection. But, even as we prepare to shed holiday pounds, many of us struggle to develop new dietary habits.
Healthy eating habits mean different things to different people, and unfortunately some guys (mistakenly) believe that one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is by dropping as much dietary fat as possible—eating low-fat everything, in other words.
Truth is, your body needs fat. Scientists now realize that things like egg yolks and butter, long vilified as sources of dietary fat, aren’t really that bad for you. It’s just a matter of consuming the right kinds of fat.
To help you separate the good from the bad, we’ve compiled a list of the best fats and where to find them.
5. Monounsaturated fats
If you’re looking for ways to keep your cholesterol in check, monounsaturated fats are your ticket. Why? Studies suggest that they can not only lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) but also increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. The best places to find them are in a wide variety of oils, as well as in avocados and even poultry.
And for you guys who can’t resist a good snack, you’ll be thrilled to know that you now have an excellent excuse to snack on cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts.
4. Polyunsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats, well-known for their cholesterol-reducing capabilities, can also assist in reducing blood pressure. They’re available in supplement form and can be found in various oils including safflower and sunflower.
3. Conjugated linoleic acid
Research suggests that consuming this fatty acid and frequenting the gym for at least 4.5 hours per week significantly reduces body fat. A Swedish study also discovered that CLA has a direct impact on the reduction of some forms of colon cancer.
CLA is most readily found in grass-fed poultry and meats, as well as dairy and eggs.
2. Medium-chain triglyceride
Struggling to lose weight? Consider changing from olive oil to fatty acid MCT oil. New York-based researchers found that weight-loss program participants consuming MCT oil instead of olive oil experienced a greater loss of weight and fat—including intra-abdominal body fat. Why? MCT increases fat burning.
Just a few drops over your favorite meals will help. Other sources of MCT oil include palm kernel oil and coconut oil.
1. Fish oil
Does heart disease run in your family? If so, you probably already know the importance of controlling your portions, limiting salt intake, and consuming fruits, vegetables, and fiber. According to Oregon researchers, something else that could help in the prevention of heart disease is fish oil.
Bonus: The same researchers indicate that it could also be effective in promoting better eye and mental health. Even if your breath were suddenly to smell of fish, with all of these perks, it’s still worth it.