We hear a lot about “fat-free” products and diets that focus on restricting the amount of fat you consume. Although we want to avoid certain types of fats, fat-free products and diets are detrimental to health. It is important to understand that there are different types of fats and consuming a diet high in healthy fats is actually critical for good health and even weight management.
There are three main sources of fat found in foods.
- Unsaturated Fats: These are the HEALTHY fats! They tend to be liquid at room temperature and solid when refrigerated. They are found in plant foods and fish.
- Monounsaturated: found in avocados and olive, peanut and canola oils.
- Polyunsaturated: found in most vegetable oils.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: type of polyunsaturated fat found in oily fish like salmon
- Omega-6 fatty acids: type of polyunsaturated fat found in safflower and soybean oil, sesame seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and pine nuts.
- Saturated Fats: Tend to be solid at room temperature. Saturated fats are found in meat and other animal products such as butter, cheese and milk. Coconut oil is also high in saturated fats. Moderate consumption of saturated fats is recommended. Consuming high amounts of saturated fats can increase overall inflammation and raise LDL cholesterol levels.
- Trans Fats: Trans fats are synthetically derived and are found in foods such as margarines, fried foods, baked goods, crackers, cookies and other commercial snack foods. Trans fats should be avoided. Their consumption is the #1 contributor to cardiovascular disease.
Fat is a macronutrient essential for health. It is required for many functions in the body including the following.
- Maintenance of cell membranes
- Transportation of cholesterol to tissues for structure and repair
- Maintenance of the brain and mental health
- Eye health
- Healthy skin and hair
- Maintaining body temperature
- Hormonal production and fertility
- Maintenance of a healthy gut
- Regulation of blood sugar
- Absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K
- Protection against toxicity
- Heart health
As you can see, healthy fats help our body function on many levels. Therefore, inadequate intake results in these functions being impaired.
Needless to say, you must eat fat! Your body will thank you.
Fat bombs are a great way to incorporate more fat into your diet.
Give this Blackberry Fat Bomb recipe a try. It will be sure to leave your taste buds coming back for more of that fat!