What are Healthy Fats?
Have you been hearing lots lately that fats are good for you? Well, it's true! Kind of. Let me explain.
When we say the word fat- many people immediately think of all the yucky foods that make us fat, and put on a couple of inches on our hips. Because fat has gotten a bad name, there are all kinds of low fat diets and word has spread that we should all reduce our fat intake. But that's not necessarily the case. There are many different kinds of fats, from all different foods and SOME of them are healthy- and in fact, necessary for our bodies to stay healthy such as Fatty Acids- you have probably heard that Omega 3 Fats are healthy (its true). So, avoiding fats of all kinds is not a good solution to health, or weight loss.
When you hear about fats such as soluble, trans fats, saturated, healthy fats, bad fats, it can be really confusing! Let me try clear it up a little bit more.
Our nervous system runs throughout our bodies. All of our nerves have a sheath around it, called the myelin sheath. This protective cover is made up on many things including proteins, Vitamin B and fat! Without enough healthy fat intake, this sheath deteriorates, and we actually can run into nervous system disorders. So if that doesn't convince you to keep up your fat intake, keep reading.
Our brains are the most membrane rich tissue in the body- and an inadequate supply of the right fatty acids affects brain function. This can lead to learning disorders, and memory disorders.
Our energy levels are related to what we put in our bodies- and a main source of energy is healthy fat!
Ready for some examples of what I mean when I say Healthy Fats?
- Nuts and Seeds such as walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Fatty, cold water fish such as salmon and halibut
What are the bad fats I should stay away from?
- French Fries
- Ice Cream
You can probably see from the lists above that foods that are heavily processed, are on the stay away from list. THESE are the fat foods (fast foods) that will make you fat (how can you not gain weight on a diet like that!)
A few more tips to help you stay away from the bad fats:
- Eat foods that are as fresh as possible.
- Choose foods with little to no processing (they were not made in a factory ie: margarine)
- Bake or broil your foods instead of frying
- Choose oils such as Coconut Oil for cooking, and Olive Oil for salads
- Read the ingredients list. The longer and more cryptic the words on the list, more likely means it includes processed, unhealthy foods such as bad fats.
Now, when you hear about healthy fats, I hope it makes a little more sense in your mind.
Thanks for reading!
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you, you can comment below.
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