Your guide to healthy fats: What foods to eat and their benefits

Eating healthy food isn’t just about getting the right vitamins, minerals, and fiber; It’s also about eating the right kinds of fats. Unfortunately, the topic of healthy fats can be confusing because there are so many different types of fats in the different foods we eat in our daily diets.

We need certain amounts of these different fats for our bodies to function properly. The trick is to balance it out so we get more beneficial fats, Like omega-3 fatty acidsand less harmful, such as saturated fats.

What makes fats healthy?

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We need essential fatty acids in our diets because they are involved in many bodily processes, including helping us absorb the so-called fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamins A, D and E.

Fat that the body does not use for its many functions is eventually stored in the form of body fat. This is why it is advisable to limit fats in the diet and consume those that promote good health in the first place. But what makes some fats healthy?

The main types of fats that we frequently consume in our daily diets are saturated and trans fats. Most foods contain a combination of the two, but in varying amounts. Healthy fats are those that contain more unsaturated fats than saturated fats.

Unsaturated fats join monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, also known as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, in the list of fats considered healthy. These are good fats because they have health-promoting effects on the body, such as lowering harmful cholesterol levels and Promote heart health.

Many of these beneficial fats are consumed as oils such as olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats. However, rapeseed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-6 fats, as well as most other vegetable oils.

Fish oils are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and the most effective in promoting cardiovascular health.

What is considered unhealthy fat?

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Unhealthy fats are those that are considered more harmful than beneficial to the human body. Fats such as saturated and trans fats They are mostly found in products from animal and dairy sources. Saturated fats are also abundant in cakes, biscuits, and other sweets.

A diet rich in these fats is believed to increase cholesterol levels, especially levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. This can clog the arteries with fatty deposits, putting us at risk for heart disease and other serious health problems.

The US Food and Drug Administration is so concerned about the health risks associated with trans fats that it has banned manufacturers from adding them to foods and drinks.

7 of the best foods rich in healthy fats

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1. olive

olives especially olive oilIt is a great source of monounsaturated fat, which mostly comes in the form of oleic acid in food. Olive oil is very versatile and can be used in cooking and as a salad dressing. Two tablespoons of olive oil per day is enough to provide us with 100% of our daily needs for monounsaturated fats.

Extra virgin olive oil is the best form and comes loaded with vitamin E and other antioxidants.

2. Walnut

Nuts are high in fat, but most contain high amounts of monounsaturated fat. Even nuts that contain high amounts of other fats, such as Brazil nuts, are still considered healthy because they contain fiber and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium.

Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats and contain the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. Some studies suggest that walnuts can reduce blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. They also contain phosphorous, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin B6, copper and folic acid.

3. Avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats. They also contain some polyunsaturated fat. Although avocados are mostly used in South American cuisine, they are still abundantly available in North American food stores. The avocado popularity It all comes down to its vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins C, E, K and a number of B vitamins are located here, along with potassium, copper and magnesium.

Due to its high monounsaturated fat content, avocados are believed to be good for heart health, and the healthy fats present have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.

4. mackerel

Fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, but not all fish are created equal; Some contain much more of these fats than others. The best fish to eat to increase omega-3 fatty acids in the blood Oily fish such as mackerel.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a beneficial effect on heart health. These fats can also help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for brain development and function.

5. Flaxseed

While fish like mackerel provide health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids in the forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), plant foods like flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).

Ripe flaxseeds, also referred to as flaxseeds, can be added to porridge, bread, and other foods, while the oil can be taken in capsule form. Eating the whole grain has additional benefits as it provides fiber and vitamins.

6. eggs

Eggs were thought to be unhealthy, but in moderation, they provide the body with nutrients such as potassium, selenium, calcium and protein. Eggs also contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. However, some eggs contain omega-3 fats as well, but this largely depends on the diet of the chicken laying them.

7. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of a plant called Salvia hispanica that grows mostly in Mexico. These tiny seeds can be added to foods and smoothies, and come packed with nutrients that include iron, zinc, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

5 benefits of healthy fats

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1. Healthy fats help lower cholesterol

A diet rich in good fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce cholesterol levels. Of course, we need some saturated fat, but modern diets tend to contain a lot of it.

Increased consumption of saturated fats often leads to higher levels of cholesterol in the blood and an increase in LDL, which is also referred to as bad cholesterol. Eating more other types of fat can help control cholesterol and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

2. Healthy fats help keep your heart healthy

Healthy levels of good cholesterol help promote a healthy heart because the good fats prevent clogged arteries. These fatty deposits made up of calcium, cholesterol, and fats are often referred to as plaques, which harden and block blood flow to the heart. Good fats also reduce triglycerides; High levels can contribute to heart disease.

3. Healthy fats reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

A diet rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Including these fats in the diet can help reduce blood glucose levels after each meal, which means that the pancreas releases more Less insulin. This also reduces the risk of developing insulin resistance.

4. Healthy fats improve brain function

Healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to improved brain function. It is also believed that these fats reduce the risk of developing dementia and even depression. Omega-3 fats are thought to increase blood flow to the brain. They also improve neurotransmitter binding and signaling pathways in the brain as well.

5. Healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties

Omega-3 fatty acids and some omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats. This means that the body cannot produce them, and they must be included in the diet. These fats have a host of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. They achieve this by interfering with the inflammatory process in the body, which leads to diseases such as arthritis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is saturated fat good for you?

We need some saturated fat in our bodies, and it is not dangerous to health unless a lot of saturated fat is eaten. So there must be a balance of all fats in our diet.

What does fat do to your body?

Fats act as an energy store for the body. It also helps you absorb nutrients, produce certain hormones, and regulate normal cell function.

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