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Which Fats Are Good & Which Should Be Avoided

Listen up people – it’s okay to eat fats! Not only should eating healthy fats be accepted, it should be encouraged. But wait… aren’t fatty foods unhealthy because they cause heart disease? No!

Decades ago, the sugar industry paid off Harvard scientists to lie about what roles sugar and fat play in your diet. Their goal was to reduce or eliminate the role that sugar plays in heart disease.

They had to have a bad guy, so they suggested that fat played a bigger role than it actually does. Their review appeared in the highly trusted New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, prompting the misconception that fat is bad for health, when sugar is the true villain.

This false claim has caused the American diet to take a nose dive. The low-fat, high-sugar food craze has dominated recent decades and devastated the health of our nation. There is hope, however – the realization that we need to eat fat!

Fat is absolutely essential to good health. Did you know that every single cell in the human body contains fat? Even the brain requires fat in order to function.

If we do not consume enough fat, cognitive function declines, mood plummets, and it doesn’t end there. Hormones will fall out of balance, digestive health suffers, the immune system is compromised, even our ability to handle the stressors of everyday life is reduced… all because our bodies are not getting the fat they need!

In fact, research has found that you are three times more likely to die from an insufficient intake of healthy fats (low-fat/high-carb diet) than you are from excess intake of saturated fats. Definitive proof that healthy fats heal the body, not hurt it.

Eating a diet rich in good fats lowers risk for heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes complications. Healthy fats and fiber are key players in the game of health; especially when it comes to diabetes. Healthy fats help us feel satisfied, while fiber keeps us full and helps metabolize glucose. A successful recipe for blood sugar management.

It is crucial to choose the right healthy fats in order to reap these benefits. According to several studies, it is not the amount of fat you eat that affects health, it is the type of fat. There are several different types of fats, each found in a variety of foods. Believe it or not, there are a ton of heart-healthy foods out there!

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two good fats. These fats lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, therefore, reducing risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats can be found in a variety of nuts, as well as, avocados, and olive oil.

Avocado has been in the spotlight lately as a trendy brunch food. Talk about the epitome of delicious and nutritious! Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats and are also high in fiber. Research has proved time and again the health benefits of eating avocados. Those include reduced risk of hypertension, stroke, diabetes complications and obesity just to name a few.

Polyunsaturated fats, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, can be found in walnuts, and in fish like salmon and mackerel. These omega fats improve cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart failure and stroke, along with lowering blood pressure. A handful of nuts make a quick, easy, delicious heart-healthy snack on the go!

Don’t shy away from butter, full-fat dairy, or bacon because they fall into the saturated fats category. While villainized in recent years due to the low-fat lies, these foods are sources of fat that should be included in our diets, too! Butter added to Bulletproof coffee in the morning, full-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries as a snack, or a bacon and blue cheese salad for dinner. Yum!

There is one type of fat to avoid – trans fats. Trans fats have no positive nutritional impact; instead they are highly dangerous to consume. They increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. This skyrockets the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.

Manufacturers add trans fats in order to prolong the shelf life of many processed and packaged foods. They are also frequently used by fast food chains for deep frying. Trans fats are seriously bad news.

The moral of the story is that healthy fats make for a healthier you! Improved blood sugar, heart and brain health, and reduced risk for heart attack, stroke, even obesity. Fats are the key to living your healthiest life!

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-is-good-fat

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat

 

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