For a long time, people on diet were told to avoid fats because they can lead to obesity. Apart from that, fat was also associated with high blood cholesterol and other related health problems. But this is not true. Fat is an essential part of any diet. And if you want to stay healthy or attain your wellness goals, then your diet must include fats. However, it’s important that you focus on mainly consuming healthy fats.
What are Healthy Fats?
They are mainly found in plant-based food products and oils. Healthy fats are beneficial to the boy and they help to sustain various processes. Health fats are usually the unsaturated types of fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in addition to omega-3 fatty acids.
Types of Fats
Fat play different roles in the body. That’s why there make an essential part of any diet. Many body processes require fat because it protects the cells. In addition to that, it also promotes homeostasis. The four types of fats include:
- Saturated fat: they contain high amounts of fatty acid molecules.
- Monounsaturated fats: these are good fats which have a number of health benefits. They support insulin sensitivity and protect the heart. These are dietary fats which exist in liquid form at room temperature.
- Polyunsaturated fats: they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6. These fats reduce inflammation, protect the cell membranes, and support a healthy balance of hormones.
- Tran’s fats: they are the unhealthiest fats. Tran’s fats are mainly found in processed foods and can cause obesity, heart diseases, and high blood pressure among others.
Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats
Fats form an important part of a healthy diet plan. However, there are good fats and bad fats. Consumers need to focus on the good ones and limit their intake of bad ones. Good fats are also healthy fats. This group consists of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They help to regulate the level of blood cholesterol and support heart health.
On the other hand, bad fats are harmful. Consumers should limit their intake of these fats because they negatively impact overall health. Trans fats and saturated fats are examples of bad fats. They are mainly found in processed food products including fries, red meat, butter, and whole-fat dairy products among others.
Best Sources of Fats
The best sources of fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated food products. This includes food sources such as fruits, nuts, butter, seeds, grass-fed meat, and fish. Outlined below are some of the best sources of healthy fats.
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Lean grass-fed pork and beef
- Full-fat yogurt and milk
- Sunflower seeds
How Much of Fats do You Need?
It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or obese, it is important that you limit your daily fat intake. The Dietary Reference Intake for fat in adults ranges between 20-35% of total calories. So, if you are taking 2,000 calories daily, then the amount of fat should be between 44-77g. However, this amount can slightly vary depending on the type of fat.
Tips for Adding Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Counting and monitoring your fat intake is tasking. So, to ensure that you still consume the daily recommended fat intake, you need to change your diet. Your food intake should include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as beans. Don’t forget to get a serving or two of fatty fish, red meat, and full-fat dairy products weekly. In order to add more healthy fats to your diet:
- Limit your intake of saturated fats
- Completely eliminate trans fats from your diet
- Try to cook with olive oil rather than stick margarine, butter, or lard.
- Ensure that you eat foods which have omega-3 fats daily
- Add nuts to your vegetable meals
- Eat more avocados by using them to make guacamole and salads.
- Make sure that you dress your own salads.
Dietary Fat Supplements: What You Need To Know
Fat is an essential nutrient. It’s a great source of energy that also enhances the absorption of vitamins. Apart from that, it supports brain health and protects the heart. However, when you are taking dietary supplements, you need to ensure that they contain healthy fats only. Supplements with saturated and Trans fats can lead to weight gain and obesity. Furthermore, they can clog your arteries.
What Are Good Fats on a Ketogenic Diet?
If you are using a low-carb diet such as the ketogenic diet, then you need to eat high amounts of healthy fats. Generally, fat makes up to 70% of the ketogenic diet daily caloric intake. Good fats on a ketogenic diet include:
- Natural trans fats: grass-fed animal meat and dairy products
- Monounsaturated fats: macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and avocadoes.
Saturated fats: eggs, palm oil, ghee, red meat, cream, coconut oil, and eggs.
Fat is an important nutrient and it forms a crucial part of any type of diet. However, it’s important that you incorporate only healthy fats in your diet. Good fat is important for your physical and mental health. However, consuming high amounts of unhealthy fats may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.