Your Guide to the Knowing What Are Healthy Fats And What Are Not
Fat gets a bad rap. Admittedly, many fats are bad for you – like the ones found in partially hydrogenated oils, cookies, cakes, and deep-fried foods. But not all fats are created equal – eating healthy fats is an important part of a balanced diet. In fact, your body needs fat.
The Importance of Healthy Fats:
- Fat is the main way our bodies store energy, and is a major source of fuel.
- Omega-3 fats are essential for optimal brain, heart and nerve health.
- Fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E and K) and antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene) need fat to be absorbed.
Obviously, eating healthy fats is important – but what are healthy fats? What matters is the source of the fats – we’re not advocating you start eating french fries and snack cakes! In fact, the “trans fat” found in many processed foods has actually been banned for being so destructive to our health. You want to aim for a diet that contains mostly unsaturated fats (like in nuts, oils and seafood) but also a little saturated fat (found in meat, butter and coconut oil.)
The Best Sources of Healthy Fats:
- Olive Oil: You’re bound to find olive oil (extra-virgin) on any list of healthy fats. The oil helps protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and its oleic acid and secoiridoids slow the aging process by protecting cells.
- Avocados: Besides being delicious, the creamy avocado is packed full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, plus plenty of potassium and Vitamin C. They also lower inflammation and help maintain HDL (healthy) cholesterol levels.
- Fish: When it comes to eating healthy fats, fish is a powerhouse. Oily fish like salmon, sardines and trout are brimming with Omega-3 fatty acids, which feed your brain, lower inflammation, and fight chronic disease.