One of the most important features of the Paleo Diet is its focus on healthy fats. At first glance, you may well wonder how the diet could possibly be good for the heart or help you lose weight, as it recommends a dollop of fat with every single meal. However, not all fats are created equal and, while some are undoubtedly bad for you, certain fats are actually important for good health.
In fact, one of the secrets to achieving success on the Paleo Diet is to regularly eat ‘good’ fats such as olive oil, avocado, or the latest popular healthy fat – coconut oil.
Coconut oil has been given a bad press in the past, with critics pointing to its high fat content. But the fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and is the reason for its important role in the Paleo Diet! It’s the ideal healthy fat for overall health and vitality, has helped countless people lose weight, is used for hair and for skin, and even benefits from antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties! Some research also suggests it may help raise your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good cholesterol’). It’s little wonder Paleo Diet fans try to work it into as many recipes as they can!
Why Is Coconut Oil Used In Paleo?
One of the key features of the Paleo Diet is that it recognizes the importance of dietary fats, as long as they’re healthy ones, such as coconut oil. Here’s some guidance from Nell Stephenson – author of the Paleo Diet guide ‘Paleoista’ – on how to create the perfect ‘Paleo Plate’ for every mealtime:
- 2/3rds fresh vegetables
- A palm-sized amount of protein
- A serving of healthy fat
- A helping of fruit
So yes, healthy fats should be included in every meal. That’s what helps to make Paleo such a healthy, balanced diet.
How Can I Lose Weight Eating So Much Fat?
You may well wonder how a dietary regime that advocates moderate to high levels of fat can a) be good for your heart and b) help you lose weight if that’s your goal. Well, the emphasis is on the type of fats, rather than the actual amount. The fats included in the Paleo Diet – coconut oil, olive oil and avocado – are healthy fats, which means they’re actually good for you. The diet also calls for increased levels of healthful omega-3 fatty acids, which again are important for health.
So yes it really is possible to eat dietary fats every day and still lose weight and protect your heart health. They just have to be the right types of fat. And research suggests that coconut oil can actually promote weight loss!
The good news is that it’s really easy to incorporate coconut oil into your daily diet. It’s such a versatile healthy fat that you can include it in pretty much anything. Use it in place of butter and instead of your old favorite cooking oil. Coconut oil is also perfect in soups, curries or with fish. You can even use it to add a rich, ‘tropical’ taste to all of those vegetables you’ll be piling on to your Paleo Plate!