Healthy Fats: Most foods contain many types of fat, and some are better for your health than others.
You need not to avoid fats from your diet.
In fact, some fat benefit your health.
But the wisdom is to choose the healthiest types of dietary fats and then enjoy them – albeit in moderation.
Facts about fats
There are many types of fats.
The body makes its own fats from the extra calories.
We find that we know some Fats in foods from plants and animals and as dietary fats.
Dietary fats are one of the nutrients that provide the body with energy.
Fats are essential to your health because they support several body functions.
For example, some vitamins need Fats to dissolve and nourish your body.
But fat has its harm.
Fats are high in calories, and small amounts may accumulate quickly.
If you eat more calories than you need, you will gain weight.
Overweight is linking to the poor health.
The problem with some types of dietary fat (and the cholesterol associated with them) is that they may link to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Also, dietary fats may play a role in the development of other diseases, including obesity and cancer.
Research is constantly developing into the Harms of dietary fats and their potential benefits.
There is a growing body of research suggesting how to deal with dietary fats, where you must focus on eating healthy ones and avoiding harmful ones.
In simple terms, this research stated that Fats made up of various amounts of fatty acids.
It is the type and amount of the fatty acid in the food that determines the effect of those fats on health.
Harmful dietary fats
There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fats: Nearly saturated fats and fats made of trans fats:
We mainly find this type of fat in animal food sources, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products.
Saturated fats increase total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Saturated fats may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
This fat is naturally present in some foods in small amounts.
However, most trans fats made from oils through a food processing method called fractional hydrogenation.
It is easier to cook with partially hydrogenated oils and is less likely to spoil than natural oils.
Research studies show that these partially hydrogenated trans fats may increase bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol.
This may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Most fats high in saturated fats or those with trans fats are solid at room temperature.
Therefore, it is often referring to as solid Fats.
It includes beef fats, bacon fats, butter, margarine, and hard margarine.
The healthiest dietary fats
Most types of dietary fats that may be healthy are unsaturated fats:
We find this fat in a variety of foods and oils.
Studies have shown that eating food rich in monounsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research has also shown that monounsaturated fats may be beneficial for insulin levels and blood sugar control, which may be especially beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes.
We often find this fat in foods and vegetable oils.
Evidence has shown that eating food high in polyunsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Polyunsaturated fats may also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
A polyunsaturated fat made of omega-3 fatty acids and may be beneficial to heart health.
Omega-3, found in some types of fatty fish, appears to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease
It may also protect you from an irregular heartbeat and help lower blood pressure levels.
There are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
However, the body does not convert and use them alongside omega-3s from fish.
Foods made with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are often liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, and corn oil.
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring.
Vegetable sources include omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseeds (ground), oils (canola, flaxseeds and soybeans), other nuts and seeds (walnuts, white walnuts, and sunflower).
To Read: Omega 3 : Benefits and Best Source
A word about cholesterol
Cholesterol is not a fat.
It is a waxy substance that resembles fat.
The body produces some cholesterol.
The body also absorbs some dietary cholesterol – the cholesterol found in foods of animal origin, such as meat and eggs.
Cholesterol is very important because it helps build cells in the body and secrete certain hormones, among other important functions.
However, the body produces enough cholesterol to meet its needs, so you never need cholesterol from your diet.
The increased amount of cholesterol in the diet may increase your bad cholesterol, although it is not the same as saturated fats.
This may increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Most foods that contain saturated fats also contain cholesterol.
Therefore, it is beneficial to avoid these foods to reduce saturated fats and cholesterol.
An exception to this rule are the oils of tropical plants, as they are rich in saturated fats but do not contain cholesterol.
Recommendations about fat consumption
Since some dietary fats may be beneficial and others may be harmful to health, it is important to know which ones you eat and whether your intake meets national recommendations.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide recommendations on consuming dietary fats.
Here’s a look at these recommendations and popular sources for each type of dietary fat. Be aware that many foods contain different Fats at various levels.
For example, butter contains unsaturated fats, but a large percentage of the total fat is saturated fat.
Canola oil is also high in monounsaturated fats but also contains small amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fats.
|The type of fat||Recommendation|
|Total lipids||This includes all types of dietary fats. You should limit total fat intake to 20 percent to 35 percent of your daily calories. According to a 2,000 calorie daily diet, these amounts range from 44 to 378 grams of total fat per day.|
|Monounsaturated fats||While there is no specific recommended amount, the guidelines recommend that you eat foods rich in these healthy fats and do not eat more than the allowed total fat.|
|Polyunsaturated fats||While there is no specific recommended amount, the guidelines recommend that you eat foods rich in these healthy fats and do not eat more than the allowed total fat.|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||While there is no specific recommended amount, the guidelines recommend that you eat foods rich in these healthy fats and do not eat more than the allowed total fat.|
|Saturated fat||Limit your intake of saturated fats to no more than 10 percent of total calories. It should be reduced to 7 percent to further reduce the risk of heart disease. On a 2,000 calorie diet per day, the 10 percent limit is 22 grams of saturated fat per day, while the 7 percent limit is 15 grams per day. Saturated fat consumption is a portion of your total daily allowance.|
|Trans fats||There is no specific recommended amount, but the guidelines state that the smaller the quantity the better. Avoid trans fats by looking at food labels and checking the term "partially hydrogenated."|
|Cholesterol||Less than 300 mg a day. Less than 200 mg per day if you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.|
Tips on choosing foods with the best types of dietary fat
Since you now know what healthy and unhealthy dietary fats are, and the permitted quantities, how do you adapt your diet to conform to the nutritional guidelines?
First, focus on reducing foods high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Then focus on food choices that contain high amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
But of a reminder – don’t go overboard, even with healthy fats.
All fats, including the healthy ones, are high in calories.
So eat foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of other fatty foods, not besides them.
Here are some tips to help you reduce fats in your diet:
– See the nutritional facts label when choosing foods.
Read food labels and check the amount of trans fats included.
By law, a serving of food containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat can describe as containing 0 grams.
Therefore, it is also important to check ingredient lists for the word “partially hydrogenated.”
It is best to avoid foods that contain trans fats.
– Eat fish like salmon and mackerel, instead of meat at least twice a week, to get a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Limit cooked seafood to 4 ounces per serving, and bake and grill seafood instead of frying it.
– Use liquid vegetable oil instead of solid fats.
For example, fry food with olive oil instead of butter and use canola oil when baking.
– Use olive oil in salad dressings and various dressings.
– Use egg replacements in place of the eggs themselves if possible.
– Choose low-fat yogurt and dairy products.
The best sources of healthy fats
We will get to know the best sources of healthy fats that are actually very healthy and nutritious :
1- egg yolk
Is egg yolk unhealthy because it is high in cholesterol and fats? In fact, one egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71% of the recommended daily intake.
Plus, 62% of the calories in whole eggs are from fat.
However, new studies have shown that egg cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol, at least not in most people.
What we have left is one of the best sources of healthy fats and the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Whole eggs contain many vitamins and minerals.
Plus, it contains powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes and a lot of choline, a brain nutrient that 90% of people don’t get enough of.
Eggs are also a good weight loss food because they are nutritious and rich in protein.
Despite its high percentage of healthy fats in it, people who replace breakfast comprising grains with eggs end up eating fewer calories and thus lose weight.
Avocados differ from most other fruits.
While most fruits primarily contain carbohydrates, avocados contain healthy fats, where the percentage of healthy fats in avocados is about 77%, which also makes them one of the best sources of healthy fats.
Avocado is among the best sources of potassium in the diet, as the proportion of potassium in it reaches 40%, which is more than bananas.
It is also a wonderful source of fiber, and studies have shown that it can lower the level of harmful cholesterol and triglycerides, besides raising the good cholesterol.
Although it is high in healthy fats and calories, one study showed that people who eat avocados tend to have less weight and have less fat than those who don’t.
Cheese is a food source rich in healthy fats.
This makes perfect sense, given that an entire cup of milk is used to produce one slice of cheese.
It is a significant source of calcium and vitamin B12 and phosphorus and selenium, and it contains all kinds of other nutrients. It is also very rich in protein.
One piece of cheese contains 6.7 grams of protein, which is like a cup of milk.
Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, also contains strong fatty acids that have linked to all kinds of benefits, including reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
4- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the rare healthy foods.
They are very high in healthy fats, up to 65% of calories.
Dark chocolate also contains 11% of fiber and over 50% of iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
It’s also loaded with antioxidants, to where it’s one of the highest-tested foods, outperforming blueberries.
There are some studies that show that dark chocolate can improve brain function and protect your skin from damage in the sun.
Just choose the highest quality dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa.
5- Oily fish
Fatty fish is one of the few animal products that most people agree are healthy.
It is also one of the best sources of healthy fats and this includes fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines …
These fish contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and all kinds of important nutrients.
Studies show that people who eat fish are healthier, with a lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and all kinds of common ailments.
If you cannot eat fish, then taking a fish oil supplement may be beneficial for you.
Cod fish liver oil is the best, it contains all the omega-3s you need, plus lots of vitamin D.
Nuts are one of the best sources of healthy Fats and fiber, and an excellent source of plant protein.
Nuts are also rich in vitamin E and loaded with magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of.
Studies show that people who eat nuts are healthier and have a lower risk of various diseases.
This includes obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and many other nuts.
7- Chia seeds
Chia seeds not viewed as a “greasy” food.
This is not true, as 28 grams of chia seeds contain 9 grams of healthy fats.
Given that most of the carbohydrates in chia seeds come almost in the form of fiber.
Chia seeds contain around 80% healthy fats.
This makes it an excellent high-fat vegetable food.
Not only Fats but also heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.
Chia seeds may also have several health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and inflammation.
It is also nutritious. Besides being loaded with fiber and omega-3s, chia seeds are packed with minerals.
8- Extra olive oil
Another fatty food that everyone agrees is one of the best sources of healthy fats is extra virgin olive oil.
These fats are a staple of the Mediterranean Diet, which has many health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and it also packed with powerful antioxidants.
Some of these antioxidants can fight inflammation and help protect LDL cholesterol particles in the blood from oxidation.
In some studies, extra olive oil have a great benefits to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol markers, and have all kinds of benefits related to the risk of heart disease.
Of all the healthy fats and oils in the diet, extra virgin olive oil is the best.
Tuna is one of the best sources of healthy fats and from fatty fish, which we mentioned earlier, it contains an exorbitant amount of healthy fats and Omega-3.
We are talking about everything that is canned and convenient of the type that you find in your favorite sushi place.
The variety of tuna steak, tuna burger, tuna salad, the options are endless, so it is very easy to fit into your diet.
10- Full-fat dairy products
Dairy products are also one of the best sources of healthy fats. Choosing full-fat dairy can lead to the satisfaction you might lose with the low-fat versions.
One cup (8 ounces) of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat with 5 grams of saturated fat versus skim milk, which contains neither.
Also, fats will help you absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in dairy products, such as vitamins A and D.
To Read: The importance of Cardio Exercises
Don’t do the impossible:
All fats, including the healthy ones, are high in calories.
To control calories, eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in place of other types of fats, not besides them.
If observing fat content is an excellent strategy, is it better to try eliminating all Fats from your diet?
First, your body needs some Fats – healthy Fats – to function normally.
If you try to avoid all fats, you run the risk, as you can get insufficient amounts of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Also, when trying to eliminate fat from your diet, you may end up eating more processed foods that touted as low-fat or fat-free instead of healthy foods that are naturally low in fat, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Instead of eliminating fats from your diet, enjoy healthy fats as part of your balanced diet.