The Benefits of Eating Healthy Fats
For many people, the initial thought when hearing the word “fat” is that it’s unhealthy. Fat gets blamed for many conditions, from cholesterol problems to weight gain. We’ve become so used to associating this word with a negative image, but fat serves a purpose in our diets. There are actually healthy fats that we should be incorporating into our diet. Let’s learn about what constitutes a healthy fat and the benefits of eating healthy fats.
Why Do Our Bodies Need Fat?
Being told that fat is terrible repeatedly will give people pause about wanting to add fat into their diet, but our bodies actually need fat. Fat serves a variety of purposes. Fat helps us to grow and develop when we’re younger. Fat is a good source of energy that keeps us going without the unhealthy crash that comes from caffeine and sugar. Fat even allows our bodies to absorb better the vitamins and nutrients that we get from food sources and supplements. Fat also plays a role in how our bodies produce and use hormones. Fat works to protect our organs. It also works to keep our cell membranes strong and supple.
Benefits from Healthy Fats
Healthy fats offer a variety of benefits. When you add in healthy fats, you’ll be combating inflammation, helping to reduce your harmful cholesterol levels while increasing your good cholesterol levels and helping your heart rhythms become stable. In addition, you’ll support all of the reasons why our bodies need fat to function correctly. It may be hard at first, but switching out your unhealthy fats for healthy fats can be the best way to support your health and wellbeing.
What are Unhealthy and Healthy Fats?
The truth of the matter is that not all fats are created equally. Some fats contribute to obesity, cholesterol problems, and other health issues, especially when consumed in large quantities. Fats that you should avoid include trans fats and saturated fats. These foods are typically found in dairy, red meat, egg yolks, margarine, and other processed foods. Saturated fats generally are from meats, dairy, and vegetable fats like palm oil and should be reduced in your diet to about 5% of your daily calorie intake. Trans fats are created to make food products have a longer shelf life and reduce how they spoil. Therefore, they should be limited as much as possible in your diet.
Healthy fats are unsaturated fats that include monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. These fats typically come from fish, nuts, and seeds, such as salmon, trout, walnuts, flaxseeds, olives, avocados, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, and hazelnuts. Also, oils made from peanuts, canola, olives, and nuts can be considered healthy fats to add to your diet.
When adding these fats to your diet, you may be tempted to supplement with products like omega-3 fatty acid capsules, especially if you aren’t fond of eating fish, but it can be more beneficial to get your omega-3 fatty acids from food like flaxseeds or walnuts. Of course, supplements are still helpful if you won’t be adding these foods to your diet, but think about how you can sprinkle some flaxseeds in your yogurt or add them into a smoothie.
Are you considering diet changes? It can be beneficial to talk about nutrition with a medical professional like the knowledgeable chiropractors at LifeGiving Chiropractic, they can guide you toward making the best choices. Contact our staff today to discuss nutritional information to get you on the right path to eating healthy and supporting your overall health.