Taming the Hunger Monster: How Good Nutrition Keeps Your Appetite in Check - Part Three - Fats
In the two previous blog posts, we discussed the beneficial role that both protein and fibre have on your feelings of satiety. In this post, we will take a look at another powerful nutrient that can help keep your appetite in check: fat.
Whaaaaaaaaattt?? You might be thinking, isn’t fat bad for me? Well, if this were still the 1990’s, the answer to that question would have been, yes! However, we’ve come a long way since those anti-fat eating days. There’s tons of research showing us the benefits of eating fat in our diets. Just like protein and fibre, fat plays a role in managing your satiety signals too.
Fatty foods taste good. With that being said, foods containing large amounts of fat should still be consumed in moderation. The amount of calories you get from fat is significantly greater than the amount of calories you get from protein and carbohydrate based foods. Essentially, it doesn’t take a lot of fat to get a lot of calories. You don’t want to overshoot the amount of fat that you eat in your day-to-day diet, particularly if weight management is a focus.
When we think about weight management, where fat really shines is around its ability to stimulate specific fullness hormones and influence the digestive process by slowing down the rate of digestion, so that food leaves the stomach and passes through the intestinal tract more slowly. This can help you to feel fuller longer! There is conflicting research that also suggests that certain types of fats can be more satiating than others. However, as the evidence is not conclusive on this, we would still recommend choosing more unsaturated fats over saturated fats in your diet.
What’s the difference between unsaturated and saturated fats? Unsaturated fats are those fat sources derived mainly from plants, whereas saturated fats are typically found in animal foods and tropical oils. Examples of these sources of fat in your diet include:
Unsaturated fats: vegetable oils (olive, canola, peanut, safflower, sunflower), avocado, nuts and seeds, fatty seafood (eg salmon, trout, mackerel)
Saturated fats: meat (beef, pork), poultry and fish (to a lesser extent than red meat), milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, margarine, shortening, and tropical sources (coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter)
So hopefully we’ve convinced you that fat isn’t the enemy! After discussing protein, fibre and fats, stay tuned for our last post in this series that will tie everything together.