Fat is so critical for a healthy body! Fat plays a role in everything: hormone production, insulation from the elements, protection for your organs, nutrient absorption, energy availability, cellular growth, and the list goes on. Eating the right fats will lead to a healthier body overall, but the wrong kinds of fat can cause all kinds of negative side effects. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to choose the healthy fats your body needs while avoiding the “bad” fats.
Unsaturated fats are the best of the best, in terms of fat content. There are two types to choose from: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are derived from fatty fish, plant-based cooking oils, and flax seeds, while monounsaturated fats come from nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and coconuts. Both are easily absorbed into your body, and they can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your cardiovascular system, as well as antioxidant properties. You can pretty much eat as much of these healthy fats as you want. Even though they’re higher in calories, they offer such amazing health benefits that you’re better off eating more than less!
Saturated fats come from animal products, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, cheese, milk, yoghurt, and cream. Up until a few years ago, saturated fats were believed to be the cause of heart attacks, but recent studies have debunked that as nothing more than a myth. Saturated fat won’t raise your bad cholesterol levels, but it can increase your good cholesterol levels, which means your body will be more efficient at dealing with the fats on its own. This is one fat you want to eat in moderation—not because it’s bad for your health, but because it’s higher in calories and more likely to slow down your digestion. Your body has to work a lot harder to break down, absorb, and use saturated fats. Stick to a few servings of meat, poultry, or dairy a day to avoid overdoing it on the saturated fats.
Trans Fats and Hydrogenated Oils
This is the BAD stuff, the stuff you want to avoid at all costs! Hydrogenated oils and trans fats can wreak havoc on your body, and they’re the types of fat that lead to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. You’ll find these fats in vegetable oils, deep-fried foods, potato chips, and pretty much anything that is highly artificial. These fats are terrible for your health and should be avoided like the plague!
How to Get More Healthy Fats
Want to get more healthy fats in your life? Try eating more avocadoes, which are loaded with unsaturated fatty acids. Put peanut or almond butter into your smoothies, and eat nuts and seeds as a topping for your salad. Use olive oil as your dressing of choice rather than cream-based dressings, and eat more olives in your salads, pizzas, and pastas. Always go for trout, salmon, or sardines when given the option. Enjoy a bit of dark chocolate, with a higher antioxidant and natural fat content. When making steamed veggies, melt a bit of butter over the top to make them extra-delicious. Instead of having a snack of potato or tortilla chips, go for a handful of peanuts, almonds, or cashews. Cook with grapeseed oil, sunflower, olive, or avocado oil instead of peanut or vegetable oil. Try to find ways to cook your food that doesn’t involve frying or deep frying, Add an extra egg or two to your meals, and definitely eat the yoke.