This Article is About
fats
fast food restaurants
nut butters
monounsaturated fats
saturated fats
trans fats
coconut oil
fruits and vegetables
brain function
potato chips
omega 3
Fats Are Healthy
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Most of our lives we've been told that if we want to lose weight (or stay thin and healthy) we need to eat a low fat diet. Walk into any grocery store and you'll see everything from potato chips to frozen dinners proudly displaying "low fat" on their labels. Even fast food restaurants have low fat options on their menus. However, new research has shown that simply isn't true. Granted, you can't down a cube of butter or an entire jar of peanut butter, but both have benefits and don't have to be eliminated from your diet. Certain kinds of fats are very healthy and should be part of your diet.

Fats are divided into four main categories: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats. Other than trans fats, which are unhealthy, each kind of fat influence our bodies in different ways. Some help brain function (the brain is mostly fat), some benefit the heart, others help with weight loss and some kinds may even help with depression. There are many ways to add fats to your diet though cooking with beneficial oil and using an olive oil vinaigrette are probably the most well known. Still, other foods like avocados, nuts and nut butters, olives, seafood, eggs, even some fruits and vegetables can be good sources of fat.

We're often told that saturated fats are unhealthy but, in fact, these can be very health fats. Both the Okinawan people, who use lard for cooking and the French, well known for their lavish use of butter, have lower incidents of heart disease than Americans. Coconut oil, which we were always told to avoid, is actually one of the healthiest oils for us. You can even use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your skin! Saturated fats are an excellent source of vitamins A & D. Many of us don't get enough vitamin D. It's where omega 3's come from. Saturated oil is even beneficial for our hearts.

Monounsaturated fats are the ones we usually hear about when talking about health fats. Sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, avocado and certain nuts like macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds and cashews. While olive oil is usually used in salad dressing, it's not good for cooking at high temperatures because it oxidizes which causes it to become rancid. Benefits include a reduced risk of breast cancer, cholesterol and a lower risk of stroke. Some studies even suggest monounsaturated helps with weight loss and reduced belly fat (one of the hardest areas to lose that extra fat).

Polyunsaturated fats are a good source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Foods that contain polyunsaturated fats are seafood (especially high fat fish like salmon and sardines), nuts like walnuts and sunflower seeds, peanut butter, flax seed and even leafy vegetables. Certain vitamins like vitamin D and A and minerals like calcium are better absorbed by our bodies with fats. They keep skin soft and supple from the inside and aid in brain function. The American Heart Association studies show that polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol, help with circulation and help prevent heart disease.

Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Different kinds of fats have differing health benefits. Including healthy fats into a balanced diet not only make foods taste better but can also help our bodies in many of ways. They can help improve our mood and help with weight loss (that's a mood lifter by itself). Fats can help prevent heart disease. Some provide essential vitamins and some help with the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. While we shouldn't over do it with any food, healthy fats are an essential part of our diet.


Street Talk

Thank you. I'm new at this so I thought I'd write about something I knew about.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Greg V  

I think we are all new to this and we often find out how little we really know. I really enjoy reading a lot about a lot of things but WOW. It's no wonder the schools are going away from books and towards Ipads. Oops! Went on a Tangent. I enjoyed reading your article. It was very informative and easy to read.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Greg V  

I like the way you put it together. Of course most of us have heard or read about the different fats, but this was a nice read.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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