Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats: Essential for Wellbeing

We have wrongly demonized fats for too long. It’s time to embrace healthy fats as vital nutrients that boost health in many ways. Fats provide energy and aid nutrient absorption. They insulate organs and support cell growth. Healthy fats can actually help you lose weight and avoid chronic diseases.

Healthy Fats

What Are Healthy Fats?

Not all fats are created equal. The healthiest options come from whole food sources like fish, nuts, seeds, olives and avocados. They are mainly unsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. They promote heart health by lowering bad LDL cholesterol and raising good HDL. Leading sources include olive oil, avocados, almonds and peanuts.

Polyunsaturated fats are also heart-healthy. They contain essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Wild-caught fish like salmon and sardines are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3.

Saturated fats from whole foods like coconut oil and grass-fed meats are less harmful than artificially produced trans fats. However, they should still be limited.

Benefits of Healthy Fats

Incorporating healthy fats into your diet offers many advantages:

Weight Management
Adding healthy fats to meals increases satiety and prevents overeating later on. Studies show high-fat diets promote greater fat burning and weight loss than low-fat plans. Fats take a long time to digest, further curbing hunger.

Heart Protection
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats actively improve heart disease risk factors. They lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol while boosting protective HDL levels. Omega-3s also help prevent atherosclerosis and irregular heartbeats.

Cognitive Function
Your brain is largely comprised of fat and requires adequate omega-3 intake. DHA, an omega-3, accounts for 25% of total brain fat. It facilitates new neural connections for learning and memory. Omega-3s may delay brain aging and guard against dementia.

Reduced Inflammation
While omega-6s tend to promote inflammation, omega-3s counteract it. An optimal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio creates an anti-inflammatory state within the body. Chronic inflammation contributes to arthritis, cancer, diabetes and other disorders.

Healthy Fats

Tips for Adding Healthy Fats

Don’t fear fat! It’s easy to work these wholesome sources into your daily routine:

Cook with olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter or margarine.

Top salads or veggies with nuts, seeds or olives. Sprinkle with hemp, chia or flax seeds.

Snack on a small handful of mixed nuts or add nut butter to smoothies.

Use extra virgin olive oil and vinegar for salad dressings.

Eat fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines twice weekly.

Add avocado slices to sandwiches, salads, eggs or tacos.

Opt for high-fat dairy products such as full-fat yogurt.

Always read labels carefully and limit processed foods with unhealthy fats. When in doubt, choose whole, minimally processed foods. Your body will thank you!

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