A lot of people avoid adding fat to their diet just because they want to stay healthy and this is very wrong- and even dangerous.
When you are advised to eat a balanced diet, this includes fat. All classes of food have their own peculiar function in the body.
However, there is the healthy kind of fat and there is the unhealthy ones.
Healthy fats among all of their functions help us:
• Produce several essential hormones
• Supply our cells with energy
• Maintain internal body temperature
• Absorb certain nutrients and
• Form our cell membranes.
The types of fats we have are unsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fat.
Unsaturated fats are considered the heart-healthy fats and they’re a prime player when you focus your diet on eating to boost energy, health, and to burn fat.
Unsaturated fats, broken up into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated subcategories, are revered for their health-promoting properties.
Saturated fat have been victimized when it comes to heart health. It is primarily found in dairy and meat products, including milk, butter, cheese, and chocolate.
Saturated fat has been linked to a rise in LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol levels, which travels through the bloodstream depositing plaque and causing arteries to narrow.
However it has also been shown to increase HDL (“healthy”) cholesterol, which moves through the blood and cleaning up buildup plaque.
Research has also concluded that saturated fat has nothing to do with an increase in cardiovascular disease.
Hydrogenation is a process that turns fats into solids at room temperature, making a special type of fat known as trans fats.
Trans fats, commonly found in processed foods and baked goods, should be avoided at all costs.
They have a strong link to heart disease, and studies show that getting even 2 percent of your calories from trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease by 23 percent.
Foods That Contain Healthy Fats
Now that you understand which fats to eat and avoid, let’s take a look at the top foods rich in healthy fats.
Nuts such as walnuts, pecans and almonds are loaded with healthy fats. They are a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and also support mental health.
Nuts also contain omega-6 fatty acids, which have been reported to be pro-inflammatory.
While they contain lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which make them a great addition to the diet, limit portions should to about an ounce (or 1/4 cup) in order keep your omega-6 intake in check.
Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.
It is popular for its heart-healthy effects, ability to relieve inflammation, and power to prevent oxidative damage.
Coconut oil is wonderful because it has been proven to kick-start fat burning. It contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid, which has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties.
Coconut oil is also great for your heart because it reduces cholesterol levels and provides an alternate source of energy for brain cells.
These seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They contain more omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
Avocado also is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and this is what gives it its characteristic rich and creamy flavor.
Flaxseed is considered one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
It is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, which our body cannot produce on its own. It is also full of antioxidants and fiber to promote full body health.
Fish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which includes the two most beneficial types, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil has been tied to a wide variety of health benefits, from weight loss to keeping your skin clear.
Fish oil has also been demonstrated as an effective way to protect your heart by reducing triglycerides and bumping up levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.
Chocolate contains healthy fats and it can help you flatten your belly—dark chocolate, that is.
It contains the highest percentage of pure cocoa butter, a source of digestion-slowing saturated fat known as stearic acid.
As dark chocolate requires more time to process, it wards off hunger and helps you lose weight.
Besides the healthy fats it contains, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, principally polyphenols which includes flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin and notably the procyanidins, which can help ward off free-radicals and improve blood flow to the brain.
Whole-milk, Greek yogurts tend to contain more protein and fat and less sugar than the leaner versions, which makes it the perfect hunger-squashing food:
Protein takes longer to break down and fat makes you feel full, so you’ll go through your morning without an urge to munch on snack.
Most of yogurt’s fat comes from saturated fats, but it also has monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and naturally-occurring trans fatty acids.
Of all the fishes in the sea, the tuna fish is one of the highest sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid.
Canned light tuna is one of the best and most affordable fish that can help you lose weight, especially from your belly!
A study in the Journal of Lipid Research revealed that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation had the profound ability to switch off abdominal fat genes.
And while you can find two types of fatty acids in cold water fish and fish oils—DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—researchers say that DHA can be 40 to 70 percent more effective than EPA when it comes to regulating fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from increasing in size.
Fats are not to be avoided. A lot of people avoid fat which is very bad because fat has its roles to play in the body.
However some fats are better than others. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet for a balanced diet.