Fats have received a bad reputation over the last couple of years. With all of the fad diets, it’s easy to be confused about what’s healthy and what’s not. Some diets like the Ketogenic and Paleo diet emphasize the importance of healthy fats, while others recommend you limit them. So, what’s the deal?
In this article, we are going to explore why healthy fats are so great for health and how you can add more to your diet.
The Amazing Benefits of Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are super important for overall health. In fact, did you know that the human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat? That just goes to show you just how important healthy fats are. When we consume them, we are literally nourishing our brains. Fat is also an excellent source of energy, which is why keto dieters add so much to their diet. When the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use for fuel, it will turn to fat. Fat can be very energizing, and can also help keep you full longer.
On top of the fact that fat nourishes the brain, healthy fats are also important for:
- Healthy Fats Nourish Body Cells and Help Us Maintain Healthy Skin & Tissues: Did you know that we need fat to nourish almost every cell in the body? Healthy fats are also an important part of nourishing healthy skin and supporting tissue health.
- Fats Help Transport Vitamins: By adding healthy fats to the diet, they can help transport fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K through the bloodstream. They will help these vitamins get to where they need to be in the body.
- Hormone Balance: Healthy fats are also important for optimal hormone balance. They help to form steroid hormones which are needed for a number of different processes in the body.
- Provide the Body with Essential Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids, commonly found in wild-caught fish play an important role in brain health and can also combat inflammation in the body. These are fatty acids we must obtain through diet as our body cannot produce them on their own. This is where healthy fats come in. Plant-based sources of essential fatty acids include flax and chia seeds, and walnuts.
Which Fats Should We Be Eating?
So, which fats should we be adding to your diet? Of course, not all fats are healthy. Certain fats should be completely eliminated from the diet such as hydrogenated and trans fats. These are often found in baked goods, fried foods, margarine, and even some crackers. Always check the back of a food label, and steer clear of anything that says trans or hydrogenated.
However, the healthy fats we do want more of include:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Nuts & seeds
- Wild-caught salmon
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Try adding one of these foods into each meal. You would be surprised at how much better your body feels when you fuel it with the food that it needs. Plus, a little healthy fat goes a long way. When you add healthy fat to each meal, you will also be less likely to overeat and can help stabalize blood sugar levels throughout the day helping you feel your best.
Essential fatty acids and human brain. Chang, CY, Ke DS, Chen JY. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590