I think healthy fats are one of the most overlooked sources of nutrition.
I think a lot of people misconstrue fat as being “bad” because it’s higher in calories than carbohydrates and protein, but it exists for a reason.
There are good fats and there are bad fats. I like to think our bodies need both, but I definitely tend to eat more of the good fats.
Let’s start with the harmful dietary fat…
- Saturated fat: This is a type of fat that comes mainly from animal sources. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Some studies have shown that saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Trans fat: This is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods, especially from animals (this doesn’t bother me at all). On the other hand, most trans fats are made during food processing through partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fats. Studies have shown that man-made trans fat can increase LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL(good) cholesterol. This can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
These fast are solid at room temperature because of the high unsaturated fat content (like lard).
On the the other hand, there are some healthy dietary fats out there…
1. Monounsaturated fat: This is a type of fat is found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats…
- Improve blood cholesterol levels
- Benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control
2. Polyunsaturated fat: This is a type of fat found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats…
- Improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.
- Help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Polyunsaturated fats also contain omega 3’s that benefit heart health.
- Omega-3s (found in most fatty fish) appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.
Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (like olive oil).
My all time favorite sources of healthy fat are nuts and seeds, peanut butter, fish, avocado, and olive oil. I eat some good fat every day and love the way it makes me feel.
Healthy fats are needed by the body. They provide energy, healthy skin, support vitamin absorption, and everyday bodily functions.
Breakfast this morning was two eggs with homemade guacamole, toast, and fruit. Delicious.
There are many ways you can sneak in some healthy fats to your diet! Here are some ways I like to include healthy fats in my everyday diet:
- Adding nuts (or but butter) to oatmeal, cereal and other baked goods
- Having some mixed nuts with my snack
- Using healthy oils (such as olive oil) for cooking and baking
- Using healthy oils as a salad dressing or to finish a dish
Do you focus on healthy fats?