Fat has a bad reputation. While some of this rep is deserved, let us not forget that not all fats are bad. In fact, unsaturated fat offers some surprisingly healthy benefits, especially for dieters.
New research from UC Irvine indicates that monounsaturated fatty acids, affectionately known as MUFAs, can actually help you feel full. When they reach your small intestine, these fats ignite the production of a compound that tells the brain to stop eating since you're full. MUFAs help stop the hunger signal so you don't overeat.
This property of monounsaturated fats might be why the Mediterranean diet is so successful at helping people maintain their weight. Unsaturated fats, both poly and mono, help keep belly fat at bay. And belly fat can increase your risk of heart disease and high blood sugar levels, so you want to work to keep weight off your midsection.
I feel lucky because some of the foods high in MUFAs are a few of my favorites.
- Olive oil
Even if you are dieting and cutting calories, don't forget to eat some nuts with your meals. All these foods are easy to throw on top of a low-fat salad.