From the dimply stuff that bothers women’s thighs to the beer bellies that enter a room before men do, fat is not good news! A lot of us try to melt this by various methods. Exercise seems to be the most popularly opted one.
However, exercise alone is not enough to shed stubborn belly fat. Diet also plays an integral part in your battle against the bulge. Believe it or not, healthy foods added in your diet may do more than just nourish your body well. There’s a superhero in town to support you fight the battle. This hero is called MUFA.
Make Friends With ‘MUFA’?
MUFA is a term used for Monounsaturated Fatty Acids found in plant foods. Such foods may include whole grains, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and avocados. These unsaturated fats are considered healthier in comparison to saturated fats. (1, 2) MUFAs may enhance your heart health and help protect against numerous chronic diseases. (3, 4, 5) Additionally, MUFA may even target fat where it’s the toughest to lose — on that midsection! (6)
Role of MUFA in Health and Weight Management
Monounsaturated fatty acids may help promote good health in several ways. To understand the real powers of these multitasking superheroes, keep reading…
Help Trim Belly Fat
A diet with a high amount of monounsaturated fats can be helpful for weight loss and body composition (7).
Supporting this, some studies of overweight people have found that high MUFA diets are slightly healthier and more effective than high-carb diets for weight loss (8, 9, 10).
In fact, you may feel satisfied and full for longer after eating foods rich in MUFAs, which will reduce your calorie intake and support weight loss (11).
Lessen The Risk Of Heart Problems
We often hear or read that eating excessive saturated fats can increase the risk of numerous heart problems. However, this is not true in the case of monounsaturated fats. In fact, this type of fat may help manage the risk factors associated with heart health.
Some studies have focused on the consumption of MUFAs, and the result has suggested that MUFAs can reduce blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart health. Too much cholesterol can lead to heart attacks or even strokes and clog arteries. (12, 13, 14, 15) Moreover, it may help support healthy blood flow and heart health (16).
Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. The production of insulin is important for managing blood sugar level. A high-MUFA diet may improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar. (17, 18, 19 , 20)
Numerous studies have shown beneficial effects of high-MUFA diets on inflammation. According to a report published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, diets high in MUFAs reduced inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions (such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels) that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Other studies have shown significantly lower inflammatory chemicals in the blood of people who eat high-MUFA diet (21, 22, 23).
Sources of MUFA
MUFAs can be found in plant-based foods such as nuts and seeds, and also in animal-based foods such as meat.
However, some studies suggest that plant-based foods are preferable than animal-based sources of MUFAs. Here is a list of foods that may contain significant amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Seeds and Nuts (24)
- Avocado (25)
- Dark Chocolate (26)
- Canola Oil (1)
- Peanuts oil (1)
- Olives (1)
- safflower oil (27)
- sesame oil (27)
Try adding a few of MUFAs to all of your meals to blast belly fat so it won’t get in the way of your life and health. Moreover, you can join a support group; MY FAT BELLY GOTTA GO PARTY to find people like you who have gone through or are going through the same issues. This platform enables you to learn more about how to stay fit and healthy, learn about healthy eating habits that you need to choose to fire-up your weight loss journey.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- “What are MUFAs, and should I include them in my diet?” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/mufas/faq-20057775
- “What’s the Flat Belly Diet, and can it help you lose weight?”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/flat-belly-diet/faq-20058556
- Briggs, Michelle A et al. “Saturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Replacements for Saturated Fat to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk.” Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland). 5(2): 29 (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492032/
- Kalita, Soumik et al. “Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review.” Nutrients. 10:4 (2018):468. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946253/
- Schwingshackl, Lukas, and Georg Hoffmann. “Monounsaturated fatty acids and risk of cardiovascular disease: synopsis of the evidence available from systematic reviews and meta-analyses.” Nutrients. 4:12(2012): 1989-2007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3546618/
- Yang, Suh-Ching et al. “High Fat Diet with a High Monounsaturated Fatty Acid and Polyunsaturated/Saturated Fatty Acid Ratio Suppresses Body Fat Accumulation and Weight Gain in Obese Hamsters.” Nutrients. 9:10 (2017):1148. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/10/1148
- Kaippert, Vanessa Chaia et al. “Effects of unsaturated fatty acids on weight loss, body composition and obesity related biomarkers.” Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. 7(Suppl 1): A139 (2015). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653532/
- Qian, Frank, et al. “Metabolic effects of monounsaturated fatty acid–enriched diets compared with carbohydrate or polyunsaturated fatty acid–enriched diets in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Diabetes Care. 39:8 (2016): 1448-1457. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27457635
- Walker, Karen Z., et al. “Dietary composition, body weight, and NIDDM: comparison of high-fiber, high-carbohydrate, and modified-fat diets.” Diabetes Care. 18:3 (1995): 401-403. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7555486
- McManus, K., L. Antinoro, and F. Sacks. “A randomized controlled trial of a moderate-fat, low-energy diet compared with a low fat, low-energy diet for weight loss in overweight adults.” International journal of obesity. 25:10 (2001): 1503. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11673773
- Strik, Caroline M et al. “No evidence of differential effects of SFA, MUFA or PUFA on post-ingestive satiety and energy intake: a randomised trial of fatty acid saturation.” Nutrition journal. 9:24 (2010). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2893079/
- Garg, Abhimanyu. “High-monounsaturated-fat diets for patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 67:3 (1998): 577S-582S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9497173
- Perez-Martinez, Pablo, et al. “Dietary fat differentially influences regulatory endothelial function during the postprandial state in patients with metabolic syndrome: from the LIPGENE study.” Atherosclerosis. 209:2 (2010): 533-538. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19818442
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- Kris-Etherton, Penny M., et al. “High–monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations.” The American journal of clinical nutrition. 70:6 (1999): 1009-1015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10584045
- Tiukinhoy, Susan, and Carolyn L. Rochester. “Effects of Protein, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate Intake on Blood Pressure and Serum Lipids.” Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention. 26:2 (2006): 119. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287956
- Vessby, Bengt, et al. “Substituting dietary saturated for monounsaturated fat impairs insulin sensitivity in healthy men and women: The KANWU Study.” Diabetologia. 44:3 (2001): 312-319. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11317662
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