The Importance Of Fats In Your Diet

Healthy Fats

At the height of the Food Pyramid’s popularity, people believed that if you eat fat you will get fat.

In the Food Pyramid, carbohydrate sources formed the base of the pyramid.

Advocates claimed a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet should consist mainly of carbohydrates in the form of grains, pasta and cereals. Fat was at the apex of the pyramid.

Advocates alluded to fat as the culprit in conditions and illnesses such as obesity, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and diabetes.

But cardiologists like Dr. Robert Atkins, creator of the Atkins Diet thought differently.

His studies also showed that the carbohydrate was the macronutrient behind obesity, heart conditions and type II diabetes.

He theorised that fat could be a more efficient source of energy than carbohydrates and had other health benefits.

But before you reach out for a plate of bacon and eggs, you should know that not all fats are created the same.

There are “bad” fats just as there are “bad” carbohydrates. You must know the types of fat that are good for your health.

Good fats include:

  • Monounsaturated Fats: Avocados, Olives, Nuts
  • Polyunsaturated Fats: Sunflower Seeds, Flaxseed, Salmon
  • Omega 3’s: Herring, Mackerel, Sardines, Brussel Sprouts, Kale

These good fats offer you the following benefits:

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Studies have shown that eating good fats increases the number of High – Density Lipoproteins or HDL and lowers the number of Low – Density Lipoproteins in your body.

HDL is also referred to as the “good cholesterol” which has been proven to lower LDL’s or the “bad cholesterol”.

Decreased Risk Of Diabetes

There have also been studies that show eating good sources of fat can reduce the risk of diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels.

As you know, excess carbohydrates remain in the blood stream and increase blood sugar levels.

Choosing 35 grams of walnuts over a slice of bread which likewise weighs 35 grams will have a healthier effect on your blood sugar and overall health.

Strengthen The Brain And The Heart

Omega 3’s is sometimes called the “Superfat” because of its many health benefits for your brain and heart.

These benefits include:

  • Improved Cognition
  • Prevent Dementia
  • Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke and Cancer
  • Reduce Chronic Pain Symptoms
  • Contribute to a Healthy Pregnancy
  • Helps Overcome Fatigue

Saturated fats have been vilified as the “Bad Fat”. But sources of saturated fats such as red meat and dairy have benefits on your immune system.

In general, avoid saturated fats that are categorised as processed or “trans fats” These include fried chicken, French fries, potato chips, ham and canned meat.

The best approach is to have a balanced diet that consists of complex carbohydrates, lean protein and essential fats.

If you have a tendency to put on body fat, simply restrict the amount of carbohydrates in your diet.