The Essential Fats for Weight Loss

fruit-veg-heartFat is essential for health, becoming too low in it can lead to chronic illness such as depression and skin conditions like eczema. We need fat to make hormones and energy and essential fats help burn excess stored fat so encourages weight loss.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are the two main types of essential fats (EFAs), essential because we can’t make them in the body so must be eaten.
Typical symptoms of low EFAs are dry skin and hair, dry eyes, cracked lips, skin conditions such as eczema, inflammatory conditions like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, fatigue both mental and physical, mood swings, hormone imbalances, depression and other mental health problems, poor memory, water retention, thirst, frequent infections, allergies and hayfever.
The best sources of omega-3 are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Linseeds (flaxseed), walnuts and pumpkin seeds also contain omega-3 fats.
For omega-6 eat walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Evening primrose and borage oils are also rich in omega-6, as are unrefined sunflower and olive oil if used cold (once heated they lose their health benefits).
Saturated fat such as butter, coconut oil or lard (!) is best for cooking, especially frying and roasting, as the fat cannot be de-natured (changed to trans fat) through the heating process. I hear many people say they use olive oil for cooking, believing it to be healthy, but this just isn’t the case.
Lastly, never heat fat until it smokes. Add a little water to the fat and use a lid to bring the temperature down – so a sort of combination of stir- and steam-frying – which will protect the oil and prevent your food from browning.
 

Written by

Claudia Williamson Registered Nutritional Therapist DipION, FdSc, mBANT, mCHNC Tunbridge Wells, Kent