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Healthy Fats: Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

We often talk about the heart-healthy benefits of essential fats, and it’s true – for a functioning body, we need to be consuming foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil. But that doesn’t mean it’s open season on fats – find out how to find the balance and what this means for your health.

Fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, with the tides turning only recently when it comes to our understanding of this essential food group. We still have a long way to go with only 41% of people believing that fats are a vital part of our diet. Without essential fatty acids our bodies wouldn’t be able to process vitamins A, D and E – all of which are required for a healthy body, from our eyesight to basic skin and muscle repair processes.

Oleic acid is a fatty acid that packs a nutritious punch, with studies finding it may prevent insulin resistance and reduce the risk for heart disease. Healthy fats also keep us fuller for longer – coconut milk, for example, is packed with medium chain triglycerides, which have been found to decrease appetite and curb sugar cravings.

Here are a few foods to get your daily essential fats from:

  1. Avocados.
  2. Coconuts and coconut milk.
  3. Eggs.
  4. Nuts and nut butters.
  5. Olive oil.

But there is a limit – even healthy fats can cause trouble in excess.

The dangers of too much healthy fat in your diet.

Trans fats and saturated fats are the notorious fats found in fried foods and commercial-baked goods that are more likely to increase cholesterol, and while healthier fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better for us, they're also high in calories and, as such, will lead to weight gain and even obesity when eaten in excess. Of course, it’s more likely to be subcutaneous fat than visceral fat – the latter of which usually comes from excess fructose consumption. Visceral fat is also the more dangerous kind as it wraps around the abdominal organs and drastically increases the risk for diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It’s also a good idea to avoid excess consumption of any one food, as it’s true what they say – too much of a good thing can be bad. Between cholesterol in eggs and heavy metals in fish, these nutritious foods are best eaten in moderation. Experts say around 1 to 2 eggs a day are safe to consume without increasing our chances for high cholesterol.

The type of fat you’re consuming also plays a role in cholesterol absorption. Cholesterol is a lipid – the same as all other fats – but there’s a difference. It’s far more difficult to be burned off through exercise and it’s found primarily in animal products like meat, fish and eggs. Here’s where the problem lies: high cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. The blood vessels start to develop fatty deposits and, as these get bigger, it becomes harder for blood to flow through. With this comes increased risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

So, what can you do about it?

As with anything, moderation is key – such is the I Quit Sugar motto! Keep snacking on those almonds and eating smashed avo toast – just be sure you’re eating within the recommended amounts of fat, along with ensuring you’re getting in those other essentials like protein, carbs and all your vitamins and minerals.

For instance, someone on a 2000 calorie diet would do best to consume between 16 and 22 grams of fat a day – so, essentially, around 25 to 30% of your daily intake can be dedicated to fats.

If you’re looking for simple techniques to achieve a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, join us for our 8-Week Program where we’ll be ditching sugar. With exclusive meal plans and nutritious recipes that benefit your whole body, there’s never been a better time to turn your life around. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of expert-crafted meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support from the I Quit Sugar team, plus our panel of experts.
  5. Mental and physical health benefits that last a lifetime.

If you’re ready to transform your life, JOIN NOW!


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