Fat. Fat. Fat – sounds scary doesn’t it? Fat is typically viewed as a negative ingredient or nutrient. Fat is essential for our health and in natural form is vital to your life. We need fat to keep healthy brain and heart function. Take a second to understand that not all fat is created equal and to love fat. Fat is a macronutrient that can be used to lower your risks of cancer, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. In fact, our bodies can’t adequately use Vitamins A, D, E, and K (fat – soluble) without fat.
- Saturated: Butter and Coconut Oil.
- Monounsaturated: Avocados and Nuts
- Polyunsaturated: Sunflower Oil and Salmon.
- Trans: Pre-Packaged Goods.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish, Nuts, and walnuts.
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Grain-Fed Beef and Vegetables.
Polyunsaturated Fat: These are your essential fats. A great form of fat to replace your saturated and trans fats. Intake of this fat will help lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol and improve your body functions. Your body needs these fats for basic function but can not make them, therefore, they need to be consumed. The best way to consume this fat is from salmon, mackerel, sardines, and sunflower oil. The two main forms of polyunsaturated fats are Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids.
Fatty Acid: Who is calling who fat? I promise these fats really aren’t as mean as they sound. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids are essential to the human diet. With the proper consumption amount of these fatty acids they protect our hearts, joints, mood stability, pancreas, and our skin. The current issue is that the human race consumes too many Omega-6 Fatty Acids. With over consumption, it can cause high blood pressure, blood clots, and cause your body to retain water. Limiting your intake of corn oil and vegetable oil can prevent over exposure. Most of society does not eat nearly enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Again these are the fatty acids found in fish oil, all green leafy vegetables, hemp, and walnuts. Increasing your consumption of Omega-3 can reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer.
Trans Fat: The bad guy that gives all fats a bad reputation. This fat comes from vegetable oils that are chemically modified. Trans Fat is typically found in packaged cookies, chips, crackers, margarines, and baked goods. Trans Fat will actually increase you LDL cholesterol which is your “bad” cholesterol increasing your risk for heart disease. Any labels that have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are a no go!
Monounsaturated Fat: These fats have a carbon – to – carbon double bond. Basically, this structure is what allows the Monounsaturated fats in liquid form to be kept at room temperature. Increase your Monounsaturated fats and you will lower your risk of heart disease. This fats is often found in pure olive oil, avocados, and most nuts. Try replacing your trans fats for Monounsaturated fats and your heart will love you!
Now the next time you see fat as an ingredient you won’t be so afraid.