Have you ever heard that you can use fats in the paleo diet for weight loss? In fact, not just in the paleo diet. In any diet, whether the paleo diet or not, there is something called essential fats. Essential fats are needed in the paleo diet if you are trying to lose weight.
In addition to having a good diet and regular exercise, there are different things your body requires (or can highly benefit from) for losing weight. Essential fats are one of these nutrients required, hence the term essential. Pretty crazy, right? Who would’ve thought fats, which we all grew up hearing would make us more fat, would be required to shed off unwanted pounds!
It’s true. There is good fat and bad fat. Bad fats can clog arteries and increase the risk of heart problems. Unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) are good for the body and have been shown to actually help fight different diseases that saturated fats may cause.
There are two different types of essential fats; linolenic and linoleic. These are commonly referred to as omega 3 and omega 6 fats. So why do we consider them essential fats? Why not just good fats? Well, using the word essential in science typically refers to a nutrient that cannot be naturally synthesized by the body. For this reason, you must implement these fats through tweaks to your diet or supplements.
Think of the eight essential amino acids (which you can read more about in Paleo Diet Food Amino Acids), it’s pretty much the same concept. Our body requires these fats to stay healthy and in shape. So for us to use the paleo diet for weight loss, we need to make sure that we incorporate these into our diet so that we can receive the results we desire.
Linolenic and linoleic acids are found in and used in every part of our bodies. This is the reason they are essential for us to be healthy, is because every cell in our body utilizes them in a positive way. Different studies have shown that most Americans already receive enough omega 6 in their diet, the main question is whether or not they receive omega 3’s. Luckily, you can get a good amount of omega 3’s from fish and different types of nut oils.
Don’t let the word fat or fatty acids fool you. These fatty acids are necessary in our diets and will not make you gain unwanted weight. There is both good fats and bad fats. Omega 3 and omega 6 are both very good fats, grease would be a good example of very bad fat.
One idea that may work for you: many people like to get their essential fats in liquid form and then mix it in with a morning shake. This is both an easy and tasty way to receive your daily dose of health!
You can also receive a very high dose of omegas from flax oil or flax seeds, which are generally encouraged on the paleo diet. However, if you are trying to lose weight, try and limit your nut and seed intake to no more than four ounces per day, otherwise you may feel you are climbing an uphill battle.
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Remember, fats are necessary in when using the paleo diet for weight loss, just make sure you are using the right kinds!