“Fats” the word itself brings a ton of visuals to our minds like the fat aunty next door who has seemingly given up on life and taking each as it comes or that large old man in the next building who drinks every day and suffering from heart disease. We have been told for years by mainstream media, teachers, nutritionists and fitness trainers that a low-fat diet is a key to good health. Not consuming fat will help you live a long life, manage your cholesterol levels, win the waistline war and help you get the perfect body. Whether the message was intended to help save calories, lose weight or improve heart health, these low-fat recommendations have long become redundant and don’t apply to modern life any longer. In any given case, extremism, in almost any walk of life, can be more harmful than beneficial.
What Kind of Fat?
Well, this negative portrayal of fats is far from the truth; not all fats are the bad guys. In fact, fats are an important constituent of a balanced diet and the nutrients in fats and oils are necessary for our diet. Fats are of four types monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats and saturated fats. They are found from food both of plants and animal source. All fats regardless of its kind are an abundant source of energy. They all provide the same amount of calories that is 9 kcal/g. Unsaturated fats are known as healthy fats.
These fats can be extremely beneficial for you if you are eating them in the appropriate quantity and eating the right kinds of foods to procure that fat. Consuming whole, unprocessed foods with the right proportion of fats and other nutrients is the key while making sure to avoid overeating processed and refined carbs. The over consumption of carbs and facts is what leads to a host of health issues including, but not limited to, obesity and various heart diseases.
Foods Containing These Fats
Polyunsaturated fats provide a wide gamut of essential micronutrients while some act as effective antioxidants, as well. The main issue surrounding Polyunsaturated fats is to ascertain whether it’s coming from a source that isn’t processed. Here are some examples of Polyunsaturated fats which you can incorporate into your diet.
- Soybean, corn and sunflower oils
- Fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, etc.
- Ground flaxseed
- Cashews, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts
- Walnuts and walnut oil
The other source of good fats, monounsaturated fats help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels as well. Some of the foods which include these healthy fats are:
- Hazelnuts, and olives
- Avocados and avocado oil
- Olive, safflower, canola, peanut and sesame oils
- Assorted nuts and nut butter including macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds and pecans
Saturated fats and trans fats are solid at room temperature. One should generally keep away or limit foods containing saturated fats and trans fats, which include:
- Whole-milk dairy products including milk, butter, lard, cheeses, and yogurt
- Fatty red meat, beef fat and chicken fat
- Processed meats including hot dogs, bacon, and sausage
- Other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated oils
- Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils found in baked goods and snack foods
Some of the many benefits of Healthy Fats are as below
- The sources of Monounsaturated fats are vegetable oils. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are unsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats have many health benefits; they contribute in keeping the healthy HDL cholesterol levels higher and bad LDL cholesterol lower in the body.
- Consuming Monounsaturated fats can lower down the risk of heart diseases. Polyunsaturated fats help to lower down LDL cholesterol. Healthy fats ensure we get enough calories to maintain a healthy weight
- The good fats are critical to metabolic processes and it also helps your vital organs, cells, and hormones function properly. Good fats play a crucial role in the efficient functioning of the brain as well.
- They are of two types omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 are found in flax `seed, walnuts, and canola oil and aquatic animals like mackerel, salmon, pilchards, sardines, kippers, herring, trout, fresh crab, whitebait, and swordfish as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).They prevent and help reduce mental disorders like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, dementia and memory loss. Omega -3 is also known to lower down the risk of heart diseases, cancer and are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Omega-6 are found in vegetable oils such as soybean, sunflower and corn oil.
Not all fats are bad for your body. There are many health benefits of unsaturated fats, and the way to stay healthy is to substitute unsaturated fats for saturated fats. When your body gets a good supply of good fats, you can finally get rid of the jiggly-wiggly parts around your belly, thighs and arms and all the fat stores you have been wanting to get rid of since forever.
Stick with unprocessed, real foods, including nuts, fruits and veggies, and meats to be your healthiest! The truth of the matter is that we need good fats in our diet in order to live healthy lives. It’s time to say YES to fats!