When you’re eager to lose weight and tone up your physique, one of the first things that you eliminate from your everyday diet would be fat. Of course, there’s good reason for doing this. Did you know that it can also be very beneficial to your weight loss goals? People tend to vilify fat but the truth is, you actually need it to be able to function properly and perform all of those exercise routines that you do every single day. Fat isn’t purposeless. For one, it helps your body absorb vitamins A, D and E. They are also vital to your nervous system.

What’s important here is to understand the difference between the good kind and the bad kind. Yes folks, there is such a thing. Once you’ve managed that, you won’t be looking at fatty foods in the same way again.

Before we get to that though, let’s take a look at the Mediterranean diet. Please not that the Mediterranean diet is different than the New You in 22 diet and of course NYI22 is our choice but the Mediterranean diet is a decent alternative. Comprised of many different dishes that are rich in monounsaturated fat, this diet has been proven to actually lower the risks of heart disease by at least twenty-nine percent. How is this possible? Well, monounsaturated fat is classified under the “good kind” to have and consume. As previously mentioned, it’s all about picking what’s good for you and making sure that you limit yourself to the bad ones.

To help you understand things better, here’s a summary:

The Good – Unsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated: These fats, also known as MUFA’s, help in raising good cholesterol levels in our bodies whilst lowering the bad ones. They also help in protecting against plaque build up in the arteries and, according to most recent research, also aid in preventing the formation of belly fat. You can find it in olive oil as well as olives, almonds, canola oil, peanuts, peanut butter, cashews, sesame seeds and in avocados. Now, how much of it will you need on a daily basis? Well, most of your fat intake should be of this kind. It is quite potent, actually. Just two to three tablespoons of olive oil every day can help improve your HDL levels significantly and protect you from heart disease. Not only that, it would be able to provide you with most of the energy that your body would require for that day.

Polyunsaturated: Besides lowering your LDL levels, these types of fat also contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids which aids in boosting the brain’s function and also helps in strengthening the immune system. It can also help improve your mood. It also contains a small amount of omega-6 fatty acids which are known to keep both our eyes and skin healthy. You’ll be able to find omega-3s primarily in fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. Canola oil also contains it along with walnut, flaxseed and tofu. As for omega-6, you will be able to find this in farmed fish, corn, and safflower oil as well as in corn-fed chicken and beef. The amount you consume should be well balanced because too much omega-6 can actually cause inflammation which is connected to heart disease. The safest way would be to trade in your vegetable oil for canola or olive varieties as well as eating wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef.

The Bad – Saturated Fats

Saturated: These raise your cholesterol levels significantly thus, increasing your risks of heart disease as well. Definitely, the kind you would want to stay away from or at least limit your intake of. It is typically found in meat as well as in poultry. Dairy products such as butter and cream along with whole and two percent milk also contain it. Do note that plant foods such as palm and coconut oil also have it. As for daily intake, make sure to limit it to no more than ten percent of your total calorie consumption for that day. One of the easiest ways to cut back would be to remove any hard fat that you see—chicken skin being the most common of these.

All it takes is a little discipline and you should be able to moderate your fat intake and make sure that you’re getting the right kind as opposed to the ones that would damage your health.