How Important Are Healthy Fats?

There are many reasons to keep healthy fats in your diet, but people on a diet often fear it and even choose low fat or no fat options, thinking it’s healthier. Unfortunately, many of those low-fat, no fat options lack flavor, so to make it more palatable, manufacturers add sugar. Added sugar has no redeeming qualities but empty calories. If you’re one of those fat phobics, don’t feel bad. Manufacturers have marketed those fat free options to the point them villainize fat.

You can’t classify all fats the same.

Some fats are unhealthy, like trans fat. It means they’ve undergone a chemical process that changed the bonding and made it harder for the body to use than natural fats. These hydrogenated fats increase the bad cholesterol that clogs arteries. It’s often used in pastries, in junk food and to fry fast foods. There are some naturally occurring trans fats in dairy and meat, but these actually have some health benefits, compared to the man made type. Some animal studies show they may have cholesterol lowering properties and be heart healthy.

Healthy fats include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats.

Fats have gotten a bad rap. It was started by a mega study funded by the sugar industry, even though the fact they paid for it was never released. They paid off three Harvard professors to conclude that plaque build up in the arteries was caused by fat, and omit any studies that showed it came from sugar. However, trans fats are unhealthy and some studies show reducing saturated fat and substituting unsaturated fat offers health benefits. Unsaturated fat can be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Both are healthy. Polyunsaturated fat includes Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fats. Omega 3 and 6 have been shown to have heart healthy benefits, such as lowering bad cholesterol and maintaining normal heart rhythms. It also can reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia.

If you’re avoiding fat to lose weight, you’re sabotaging your progress.

Healthy fat is necessary for many different functions that keep your body running at its best. It’s important for cell growth, brain functioning, the nervous system, joint lubrication and the creation of hormones that benefit the skin and aid in weight loss. When you have fat in your diet, you’ll feel fuller longer. It’s also good for diabetics, since it stabilizes blood sugar levels, reducing insulin. Those lower insulin levels can help prevent diabetes and the accumulation of belly fat.

  • If you want to keep your metabolism higher to help burn calories, add a little of the right type of fat to your diet. It keeps you feeling full and ignites the fat burning process.
  • Medium-chain triglycerides—MCTs—found in coconut oil, metabolize differently than most kinds of fat. It provides instant energy and doesn’t store as fat either. It can cause your body to burn more calories. Look for food with other benefits besides fat. Avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, full fat yogurt, coconut, olive and sunflower oil are a few examples of those.
  • If you don’t want a deficit of vitamin A, D, K and E, you need fat in your diet. Fat is necessary to transport these nutrients.

For more information, contact us today at IronFit San Antonio

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