Healthy Fats To Include in Your Diet

Healthy Fats To Include in Your Diet

What’s popular in the news today about fats is that you can eat more of it. You heard that right. Experts in nutrition say that you can have more fats in your diet, but not just any kind of fat. You’ve got to choose the healthy kind of fat

Healthy Fat – What is that?

Today, fat is either good or bad, unlike before when we see all fats as just one group . What we know about fats now is that good fats refer to the unsaturated fats, while bad fats are the saturated fats and trans fats.

It is important for a person to have the adequate daily fat intake from healthy fats. Unsaturated fats, whether mono- or polyunsaturated, offer the benefit of having the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, nutrition experts still haven’t change their minds about not eating more fried foods or desserts, because of the unhealthy saturated and trans fats they contain.

The Fats and Weight Connection

It has long been taught that fat is unhealthy. But current nutrition news says otherwise. A healthy diet must include fat, if not; it was observed that Americans tend to gain more weight. During the 1960s or some time prior to the popularity of the low-fat diet, people get approximately 45 percent of their total calories from fat. During that time also, there was only around 13 percent obese Americans.

Today, approximately 34 percent of Americans are considered obese and their average daily calories intake that come from fat slid down to only 33 percent. The fact that people are choosing unhealthy alternatives, such as sugary, high-calorie carbs instead of healthy fats is responsible for the discrepancy.

People have been restricting their fat intake in the hopes of losing weight or lowering their risk of heart disease, however, there’s no evidence that that actually works. The Women’s Health Initiative had a study that looked into the health benefit of observing a low-fat diet on women, but found no difference with those who had no fat restrictions. Another study also revealed that the low-fat diet does not really improve heart health or cause significant weight loss. Perhaps they got these results because the participants were cutting out both good and bad fats.

The recommended fat servings is 3 to 9 daily and should comprise more good fats, a little saturated fat and without trans fat.

How Good Fats Help the Body

Good fats benefit the body in several ways, two of which is keeping the heart and brain healthy. It is necessary to source these fats from the food you eat because the body cannot synthesize essential fatty acids. Good fats can be incorporated during cooking. For example, use healthy vegetable oils when frying or sauteing. Eat fats from plant-based foods, such as nuts, avocados and olives, by including them in salads and sandwiches.

Where to Find Good Fats

Here’s a list of foods that offers good fats to boost your heart health:

Fatty fish, such as salmon, and other seafoods
Pecans, walnuts and almond
Flaxseed oil
Plant-based oils, such as olive, canola, corn, sunflower, soybean and safflower
Sesame seeds, pumpkins seeds and more

The Bottom Line

Some fats are not beneficial, so limit the intake of saturated fats and totally avoid trans fats if possible; but some fats, like the unsaturated fats, are totally necessary for good health. Don’t hesitate to eat fats for your heart and brain nutrients, as long as they are the healthy ones.

Photo credits: “Flax seeds”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons 

Categories: Nutrition

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