It’s no secret that fats are more than just a source of empty calories. They also provide our bodies with energy, help to build cell membranes and hormones, and support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Healthy fats also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them an essential part of any balanced diet.
Reducing fat intake to as little as possible has become common knowledge in recent years. However, these recommendations have led to the widespread belief that all fats are bad for you. In reality, there are both good and bad types of fats.
The trick is to find a balance between eating enough healthy fats while minimizing saturated fats and trans fats as much as possible. In this article, we will explore the importance of getting enough healthy fats in your diet by looking at their various benefits and sources.
Good fats and why they are important
There are two main types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products, processed foods, and tropical oils (such as palm/coconut oil). They are mainly considered “bad” because they increase your risk of developing heart disease.
In addition, they can also increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and contribute to inflammation. Saturated fats should be eaten in moderation, and are best kept to a minimum if your goal is to stay healthy. Unsaturated fats are mainly found in nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, and vegetable oils.
These fats contain essential fatty acids that are beneficial to your health in a number of ways. They help to lower “bad’ cholesterol while increasing “good” cholesterol. They are also important for cellular function, hormone production, and a healthy nervous system.
Why is it important to eat enough omega-3 fats?
The omega-3 fatty acids are considered “good” fats. It is important to get enough omega-3 fats in your diet because they can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit your skin, hair, and nails.
Omega-3 fats are mainly found in fish and fish oil, some seeds and nuts, and certain vegetables. The recommended daily intake of omega-3 is around 1.2 grams per day for people between 19 and 64 years old. It is even higher for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children and seniors.
Benefits of getting enough omega-6 fats
The omega-6 fatty acids can be found in many nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. These healthy fats are also important for your health, and are necessary for a balanced diet. Eating too little omega-6 fats can put you at risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. In order to get enough omega-6 fats in your diet, you should aim to consume around 7 grams of these per day.
Important sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fats
The best way to get enough omega-3 and omega-6 fats in your diet is to eat a wide variety of foods. Here is a list of healthy fats that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats:
– Dairy: You can get omega-3 fats from dairy products such as plain yogurt, unsweetened milk, and plain cheeses. – Fats: Coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil are the best sources of omega-6 fats.
– Nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds are great sources of omega-3 fats. For omega-6 fats, you can try pecans, peanuts, and pistachios.
– Vegetables: There are many vegetables that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Some of the best include broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and carrots.
– Fish: Salmon, trout, sardines, and mackerel are all high in omega-3 fats. For omega-6 fats, you can choose tuna or cod.
Other healthy fats that are essential for your health
Apart from omega-3 and omega-6 fats, there are many other healthy fats that are important for your health. Let’s take a look at two of the most important ones.
– Vitamin E: Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. It has many health benefits, such as protecting your cell membranes from damage, enhancing nerve function, and improving blood flow.
– Vitamin D: Vitamin D is mainly obtained from sunlight. It has many beneficial properties, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers, lowering the risk of diabetes, and reducing symptoms of arthritis.
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many people do not get enough of them. This can lead to several health issues, such as heart disease and vitamin deficiency, so it is important to get enough fats in your diet. A balanced diet that includes a variety of different foods will help you get enough omega-3 and omega-6 fats. You can also take a daily multivitamin as an added source of vitamins and minerals.