A long disproven, yet still persistent dietary fallacy is the simplistic belief that we get fat just by eating fat. The way that the fatty acids we consume in out diet affect whether we gain or lose weight is much more complex than that.
Lumping them all together, as many dietitians and doctors are still doing, is almost certainly contributing to the global obesity epidemic. The fact is that healthy dietary fats, like those found in avocado, can actually help with weight loss. Here’s why.
Does Fat Make You Fat?
There is much more debate in recent years on whether saturated fats are really the bad guy they’ve been made out to be. A far worse culprit, not just for weight gain, but also serious health problems like heart disease, has been found in the trans and hydrogenated fats found in margarine and the vegetable oil shortening used in so many processed foods.
There is also a lot of scientific evidence that the massive increase in refined carbohydrates are a much more effective weight gain trigger, and they, not saturated fat, are behind the rocketing levels of obesity and related diseases.
Monounsaturated Fats and Calories in Avocados
While avocados are relatively high calorie food with 100 grams of the fresh fruit providing around 160 calories, more than two thirds of those calories come from monounsaturated oleic acid. Studies have demonstrated that monounsaturated fats like oleic acid are much more likely to be utilized by your body as a slow burning energy source than saturated fat.
Increasing your intake of monounsaturated fats, versus both polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, has also been shown to provide a marked improvement in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control – a major factor in weight gain and developing diabetes.
As an additional health benefit, eating a diet high in the omega-9 fats, of which avocado is one of the best sources, has been shown to have the potential to reduce blood levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, at the same time as raising ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Avocado for Fat Loss
Omega-9 fat also aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants from the food they are eaten with.
The health benefits of avocado on their own are quite amazing. However, when you eat them with leafy greens in a salad, or with high antioxidant vegetables like butternut squash, it can significantly improve your assimilation of the nutritional elements in the other foods as well.