One of the biggest illusions about nutrition is certainly the one which says that fat creates subcutaneous fat. That’s why there is a boom of sales of low fat products, where natural fats are often replaced with sugar. However, all this doesn’t solve anything. In fact, some of the fats will even help you in losing extra pounds.
Many fats are important for your health and even help you with weight loss or at least with maintaining it. A number of vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E and K, are in fact soluble in the fat, which means that the body can absorb them only in the presence of fat. If you exclude from your menu all the fat, you will not lose weight, but rather weaken your body and thus increase the chances of overeating that leads to obesity.
It’s true that you should avoid some forms of fat, especially trans fats, which are found in processed food, bakery products (bread, biscuits, crackers,…), spreads, ice cream, most of candies, fried food, margarine … They raise the level of bad cholesterol and increase the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases.
The opposite can be said about healthy saturated fats that you should not neglect. They are able to protect you against cardiovascular diseases, to fill you up and to provide your body all the nutrients.
You can found them in the following foods:
Nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts) are rich in nutrients, healthy fats and proteins. They are one of the best sources of alpha-lenolenic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for our heart. Moreover, they are rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that boosts the immune system, helps to heal wounds, improves the function of veins and helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Nuts contain also soluble fibers and vitamin E. Fibers help to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, while the vitamin E is an important antioxidant, which contributes to the proper function of the immune system, heals the skin and repairs the DNA.
2. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil is used for frying, baking and for salads. It’s an excellent oil, rich in antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids, such as chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E. In particular, it’s advisable to consume extra virgin olive oil, which is excellent for blood pressure reduction, for body weight regulation, for the prevention of cancer, diabetes, asthma, as well as for relieving the symptoms of arthritis.
Avocado has many nutritional benefits. It is an excellent source of glutatin – an antioxidant that cleans the body, reduces the impact of heavy metals and fights free radicals in the body. Glutatin helps also to maintain a healthy immune system and slows down the aging process. In addition, the fruit is particularly rich in folic acid, which reduces the chances of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke. It contains a lot of vitamin E and helps to preserve the overall health of the body. Researches have shown that we absorb nutrients better, if we eat avocados in addition to other foods. So, just eat it up in a salad, as a spread, in a sauce or in a soup.
4. COCONUT OIL
There are several ongoing debates and dilemmas about the coconut oil. Some believe that the healthy fatty acids contained, such as lauric acid, are acting almost magically on the human body, and remove a wide variety of diseases, while others believe, that the coconut oil is made up of saturated fats, which make it harmful. Both extremes must be taken with some reservation. Studies have confirmed that coconut oil has a positive effect on cholesterol levels in the blood, while other positive effects on health were not proven yet. On the other hand, it’s good to know that the saturated fat in coconut oil differs from those of animal origin and is not so harmful. Experts say that the coconut oil is a better choice than for example butter or trans fats, but not as good as the vegetable oil like olive oil.
Seeds contain many substances that contribute to the health of our cardiovascular system. Therefore, you should include in your diet also flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and others. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (even more than flax seeds) and they contain a lot of antioxidants, fibers, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and zinc.
Despite all, it’s good to know that healthy fats are only a part of the nourishment that you need to consume. A balanced diet contains 50 -70 % of carbohydrates, 15-20 % of proteins and 5-10 % of fat. Pay attention to choose healthy stuff also by other two groups of nutritional substances. Enjoy healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, cereals and pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. The body receives healthy proteins from eating fish, white meat, skimmed milk, dairy products, legumes, nuts, seeds and substitutes for milk.