What Are Healthy Fats, What Are The Benefits Of Healthy Fats

by - June 01, 2020

For many years 'FAT' was just a four-letter word. We would discard or consider it unhealthy in the things we consume. We all think that most of the weight gain issues will be solved if we just eliminated fat from our diet.

What Are Healthy Fats, What Are The Benefits Of Healthy Fats

But just by shifting our eating habits, it will not make us any healthier because we start to cut on the healthy fats along with the harmful ones.

Being overweight isn't directly linked to just eating a single nutrient. Obesity or being 'extremely healthy' is a much more complicated scenario than just consuming fats in our diet. 

Gaining a lot of weight is because consuming more amount of calories from fats, carbs, and proteins - than you burn, leads to weight gain. Being overweight, unhealthy, or obese isn't just about eating fats, it is about the unhealthy lifestyle we lead.

You may wonder, "isn't fats bad for my health?" 

Well actually we need fats in our body and it plays a major role in keeping our bodily functions working. Fats are the major source of providing energy in our body, it helps in absorbing minerals and vitamins, provides essential fatty acids, keeps our skin soft and the list goes on. 

It certainly is very easy to get confused between healthy and unhealthy fats, the amount at which we should consume, the role of omega 3 in our body.

Eating too many fats has more effect than just increasing our waist size, it is related to our heart diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

But while choosing healthier fats is better for your heart, when it comes to your waistline, all fats have about the same number of calories. And cutting the total fat in your diet not only helps you shed weights, but it can also help you live longer and healthier.

The GOOD Fat (Unsaturated fats)

These good boys are divided into two types, 

1) Monounsaturated - They are said to reduce the risk of getting a heart disease. They are generally consumed in the form of "olive oils". These Heart-Healthy fats are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. They can be found in olives; avocados; hazelnuts; almonds; Brazil nuts; cashews; sesame seeds; pumpkin seeds.

2) Polyunsaturated fats - They are generally found in plants and help in reducing your blood cholesterol level. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they're required for normal body functions but your body can't make them. So, you must get them from food.

One of the famous polyunsaturated fats is omega 3, whose heart health and immunity building benefits have gotten a lot of attention.
Omega 3 is found in fishes that is why it is also called fish oils or cod liver oils and also in small amounts from walnuts and hazelnuts. t

The main sources of polyunsaturated fats are found in corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.

The BAD fats ( Saturated fats)

They are also of two types,

1) Saturated fats - They are found in red meat, ghee and eggs and also in coconut oil. They cause colon and prostate cancer as per research. A diet rich in these fats can increase the level of cholesterol in your body and also affect your heart and other body parts.

2) Trans fats - These bad boys are found in all the fried and baked goods we consume, Burgers, fries, chips, cookies, packed foods, etc all of them contain trans fats which are considered more harmful than saturated fats. These are artificially prepared fats which increases the chances of getting a heart attack, diabetes, and also cancer.

The Benefits Of Eating Healthy Fats

Healthy fats have numerous benefits for your body when included as part of a healthy balanced diet.

A diet that includes moderate to high amounts of monounsaturated fats can be useful in weight loss, as long as you don’t eat more calories than you are burning.

Healthy fats can reduce the risk factors for heart disease, especially if you are trying to replace ‘bad’ saturated fat. 

Following a high monounsaturated fat diet can be beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity in both individuals who have, or do not have high blood sugar levels.

By replacing bad fats in your diet with healthy fats, your body gets several health benefits from healthy fats and lower its risk of developing heart conditions.

List of foods with healthy fats

The choice to stay healthy is yours. Always check the product labels and composition before purchasing it. Look for fats that are low in total fat.

Things you can do to maintain a healthy diet
  • When using fats, do so sparingly. Try to use unsaturated liquid oils, such as canola or olive, instead of butter or partially hydrogenated margarine.
  • Limit your consumption of high-fat foods, such as processed foods, fried foods, sweets, and desserts.
  • Choose a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Try a vegetarian meal, with plenty of beans, once a week.
  • Select dairy products that are skim or low-fat.

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