Are you up for exploring MUFA weight loss? Unless you’re familiar with the language of medicine, you may be surprised. But relax, MUFA just means monounsaturated fatty acids, and they are your friends if you want to lose weight.
There are three different types of fats in the foods we eat.
- Unsaturated Fats
- Saturated Fats
- Trans Fats
Of these three, unsaturated fats are the healthiest. But it gets more interesting.
There are two different types of unsaturated fats:
- Monounsaturated and
Of those two, monounsaturated are the healthiest.
Stay with me now…
MUFA stands for monounsaturated fatty acids that have one double bond in the fatty acid chain. Say What?
➡ An organic compound in which all the carbon atoms are joined by single bonds is said to be “saturated”
➡ But if one or more double bonds are present, the fatty acid is said to be “unsaturated.”
Stay with me now – it gets easier.
What matters to you, if you’re trying to lose weight, is that those bonds have a significant impact on the way the body uses the nutrition you give it.
The MUFAs we’ll be discussing are plant-based fats found in some of the most delicious foods, like nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and dark chocolates (my personal favorite).
However, before you run out for a pound of dark chocolate, remember that even if it tastes wonderful and it’s good for you, it’s also packed with calories. The words ” in moderation” come to mind.
➡ MUFAs can help to lower your risk of heart disease, lower your total cholesterol levels and normalize blood clotting factors.
➡ They are naturally a part of a healthy Mediterranean diet but can easily be included in any type of foods you enjoy.
One of the characteristics of a MUFA is that the fat is liquid at room temperature and becomes solid when refrigerated.
Research shows that diets with healthy amounts of monounsaturated fats have multiple health benefits, including:
➡ Decreased risk for breast cancer. A study of women in Sweden found that those with diets higher in monounsaturated fats (as opposed to polyunsaturated fats) resulted in a less frequent incidence of breast cancer.
➡ Reduced cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating MUFA foods to improve your blood lipid profile.
➡ Lower risk for heart disease and stroke. Diets with monounsaturated fats correlate with healthy hearts and fewer strokes.
➡ Weight loss. Studies have found that switching to monounsaturated fat from diets with trans fats and polyunsaturated fats results in weight loss.
➡ Less severe pain and stiffness for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Diet plays a role in improving the pain and stiffness of those who already have rheumatoid arthritis.
➡ Reduced belly fat. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that diets with monounsaturated fat could improve the loss of belly fat better than carbohydrate-full diets.
And, besides protecting your heart, decreasing your risk for certain cancers AND helping you support a healthy weight, sources of monounsaturated fat taste great!
Oils that are rich in monounsaturated fats add great flavor and richness to your foods. They include:
- Canola oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
- Safflower oils
Nuts and seeds are also high in MUFAs.
One serving is two tablespoons. Some of the best to eat include:
- Sesame (the seed paste is known as tahini)
- Walnuts (which are great on salads),
- Pine nuts
Along with “nuts” that aren’t really officially classified as “nuts” – like peanuts (They’re really “legumes”).
However, dry-roasted or natural kinds of peanut butter (not the ones “moms love best”) are also high in the belly-burning fats.
Rounding out the MUFA group are Avocados and Olives.
➡ Avocados are also high in potassium, which is yet another nutrient that helps burn belly fat, and they are rich in fiber, vitamin A, and folic acid.
Want to know more about nutrients that help you lose weight and burn belly fat? Stay tuned…more to come.
**And stay in touch for upcoming articles on the Mediterranean Diet, as well as a review of several other popular diets, both the winners and the losers.
Click the links below to learn more