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MUFAs and Weight Loss

Why You Should Eat Fat to Feel Full

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.

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Canola
  • Pistachios
  • Hazelnuts

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.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
s0y-p0p s0y-p0p 8 years
I don't count calories because I love avocados. Ask any Brazilian model if they'll turn down a piece and they'd say no.
porkypocky porkypocky 8 years
Whoo, my alma mater! Go 'eaters! Oh, but yes. This gives me an excuse to eat my nuts :D
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
YAY - i'm doing something right! l think that i'm on a perpetual diet but i always manage to put some type of nut into my diet.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I put nuts on my salads. That way, a salad will actually keep me satisfied for a few hours instead of just filling me up for half an hour or whatever. I'm a HUGE fan of cashews...I LOVE THEM!!
Wild-Magelet Wild-Magelet 8 years
Are there any other foods that are good sources of healthy fats and not too high in calories or saturated fats? I need to include more fat in my diet, but I'm allergic to both nuts and avocado.
psterling psterling 8 years
That's great advice, thanks Fit!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
hmmm. got to try munching on nuts before dinner then. Was on a pistachio kick last month tho. My boyfriend and I went through and entire bag from Costco. . . i suppose the Doctors mean eat the nuts in moderation. LOL.
Fitness Fitness 8 years
psterling, yes it would. when i start making dinner, I usually munch on a handful of almonds. I think they Dr. Oz, from You On a Diet suggests eating nuts 20 minutes before a meal.
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
Love all of these things!
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
Love my healthy fats.
psterling psterling 8 years
So it would make sense then to eat MUFA-rich foods at the beginning of a meal, right?
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I usually have peanuts in the afternoon for a snack with a string cheese or cheddar cheese, and I'm usually full til dinner!
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
I love the MUFA theory and it really does help to have a little handful of almonds or macs when hungry..takes the pangs away and you get a fabulous energy boost with nutrition to boot!
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