When you’re trying to slim down, and using protein shakes as part of your weight loss plan, you may be more hung up on calories than you should be… Why? Because fats are a major, essential macronutrient in your diet, that can actually help you with your weight loss goals – even though they’re higher in calories!
The thing is, there’s a big difference between good fats (or healthy fats) and bad fats, which you should limit in your diets (like trans fats). People who are following a keto diet know this very well, since 70-75% of daily calories on keto are designated to high-fat foods. And some research shows that very high-fat, low-carb diets like keto can actually be more beneficial for weight loss than low-fat diets.
So, what does this mean when it comes to your protein shakes for weight loss? It means don’t be scared of adding healthy fats into your smoothies. Here are some major reasons why you should rethink your negative thoughts on fat, and start adding good fats into your diet shakes…
7 Reasons to Add Healthy Fats Into Your Protein Shakes
1) Healthy Fats Promote Satiety
Coconut, avocado, peanut butter. What do all of these superfoods (and super-fats) have in common, besides being incredibly nutritious? They’re all highly satisfying, therefore can help you refrain from eating unhealthy junk foods in between means. Plus, they can all be added into your diet shake smoothies.
Whereas carbs cause insulin to be released into your body, and result in a blood sugar crash, fats keep your blood sugar levels stable. Therefore, you’ll be less prone to snacking (especially on high-sugar foods – which are actually the main culprit when it comes to health problems and weight gain).
2) Good Fats Help Burn Fat
Believe it or not, consuming healthy fats can also help you burn fat! Especially a certain class of fats called medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). Whereas many of the fats in your diet have a longer structural chain, the shorter chain in MCTs causes them to be absorbed into your bloodstream immediately. And this really revs things up inside your body, boosting metabolism and increasing fat-burning!
You’ll find MCTs in a product called MCT Oil (which is also popular among the keto crowd) – and can be added into your diet shakes (shaken or mixed into a blender), as well as into coffee drinks.
3) Fats Increase Energy & Mental Focus
Those MCTs we were just talking about? Not only do they increase fat-burning, but they also increase your energy, for body and brain. This means more “oomph” to have really great workouts, chase your toddler around the house, or finally run that 5K. It also means more mental focus during exercise or at work, to really set your mind on what you’re doing and produce greater results.
To get these benefits, we recommend MCT Oil as an add-in to your shakes. In addition, coconut oil (which is where MCT Oil comes from), can add that tropical, nutty flavor (whereas MCT Oil has very little taste).
4) Healthy Fats Help Balance Hormones
When it comes to fats, as mentioned, many people are afraid of them… especially saturated fats. But, in recent years, the notion that saturated fats are bad for your heart has actually been disproved. Instead, it’s now known that it’s quite the opposite. Practical amounts of certain saturated fats are actually good for your heart, and offer additional benefits, especially for your hormonal health.
This is because saturated fats help raise your testosterone levels, which is great for building muscle – and can also help balance your hormones. Therefore, foods like grass-fed butter (which can be added into keto coffee), coconut oil, and full-fat dairy products containing saturated fat are all healthy fats that should be added into your diet (and into your shakes)!
5) Fats Assist with Nutrient Absorption
You may not realize this, but many vital micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are actually fat-soluble. Some of these include vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins actually dissolve in fats and oils, therefore consuming them with a source of fat can help them absorb more efficiently into your body.
For this reason, it’s a great idea to have a protein shake smoothie that includes lots of nutrients, from plant-based proteins, fruits, veggies, and even green superfood and green juice powders. Then, add a healthy fat like MCT Oil, coconut oil, avocado, nut butter, or grass-fed butter.
6) Healthy Fats Promote Great Gut Health
Certain fats are also good for your gut health. For instance, grass-fed butter contains a fatty acid called butyrate, which is incredibly important for your gut health. For one, your digestive system needs butyrate to function properly. The nutrient is also anti-inflammatory and has healing properties that can help it mend the inner lining of your intestines — which also helps you better absorb nutrients.
Though butter is one of the best sources of butyrate, you can also get it (to a lesser extent) from other full-fat dairy products… which are also great add-ins to smoothies!
7) Good Fats Support Liver Health
Finally, when you have too much fat in your liver (known as fatty liver disease) it can lead to a number of health problems. But certain healthy fats (like monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids), actually help reduce inflammation in your body, along with helping to reduce fat in your liver.
When it comes to your protein diet shakes, some of these good fats for a healthy liver include nuts (especially walnuts), and seeds (especially flaxseeds and flaxseed oil). In addition, avocados are also a healthy fat that give a creamy texture to protein shake smoothies and benefits liver health.
Ready to add some healthy fats into your protein shakes?! Great! Check out some of our in-depth diet shake reviews to find the best protein powder for you, and get mixing!