To people trying to live a healthier life and are now trying to figure out what to do next, the primary thing you should worry about is the food you eat. Changing your eating habits would be a good start for the fitness life you’re trying to achieve. This article takes a look at what healthy fats are, and all you should know about them. Read on!
As such, you should also know what is good for you and what is not—knowing what type of foods and nutrients your body needs will help you prepare the perfect plan. This article will tackle different types of fats that you should have in your diet and the reason why you need them. You can continue reading to learn more.
What Are Healthy Fats?
If you’re unfamiliar with the scientific side of the food industry or healthy meals, learning about healthy fats might be a surprise. Fat is usually negatively associated with things like being unhealthy or weight gain. However, it’s important to note that not all fats are bad for you, and some are essentials in your body. With that being said, fat is an integral part of a healthy diet.
In fact, “good” and healthy fats entail various benefits related to lowering the risks of heart disease and stroke. This might also be unexpected, especially knowing that heart attack and stroke usually result from eating “too much” of bad fats.
Furthermore, the fats you acquire from food provide the essential fatty acids called linolenic and linoleic acids, which help develop the brain, blood clots, and inflammation control. Unfortunately, your body can’t produce these fatty acids by itself. Thus, it’s crucial that you’re particular about what types of fats you should eat and be completely aware of what’s too much.
The fats are made up of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids are considered the “bad” fat, which is usually solid at room temperature. Meanwhile, unsaturated fats are good fats. They benefit the body and help improve blood cholesterol levels, stabilize heart rhythms, and ease inflammation. Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature.
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
As mentioned, the healthier type of fats is called unsaturated fatty acid. You can usually find this fat in seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. Moreover, unsaturated fats also have two types: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which provide various benefits to the body.
There’s nothing much of a difference between monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. They only significantly differ on a molecular level, where monounsaturated fats only have a single carbon bond. Your body can produce this type of unsaturated food and find them in foods like avocado and olive oil. You can also find them in the following:
- Other cooking oils like sesame oil and canola oil
- Nuts and cashews
- Peanut butter
- Most animal fats, such as chicken
- Healthy spreads with “high oleic” labels
Unlike monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats can’t be produced by your body. So you would need to get them from food and other resources. It also has more than one double-bond carbon structure that you can observe at a molecular level.
Polyunsaturated fats help lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and significantly help your heart. It’s also because of the two types of polyunsaturated fats, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. They help with brain function, cell growth, and heart diseases. However, since your body can’t produce them, you’ll need to find alternatives, such as omega-3 oils or foods rich in both types.
Omega 3 presents more significant health benefits, which you should add to your diet of all fatty acids. It doesn’t only help in keeping your cholesterol in control, but omega 3 also helps in preventing and reducing symptoms of other mental health diseases like ADHD, depression, and bipolar disorder. It also helps in battling fatigue and keeps you protected from memory loss.
As mentioned, your body doesn’t produce any polyunsaturated fatty acids. So, if you’re searching for a good source of omega-3 fats, you should look into the following:
- Fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, mussels, and oysters
- Algae (seaweed)
- Chia Seeds
How Can You Start Eating Healthier?
After learning the essential fats in your body, it’s time to figure out how you’ll utilize the knowledge you’ve just acquired. For starters, one important tip on healthy fats is that you should consider cooking for yourself instead of eating out or living day-by-day with deliveries.
When preparing your meals yourself, you become more aware and conscious of the foods you consume. Aside from that, you can also properly construct your meal plans and follow them without worrying about what to eat next. Doing this can also help you save a lot of money.
Moreover, if you’re finally planning to cook for yourself, consider using oils instead of butter. As mentioned above, oils like olive oil are a great source of unsaturated fats, while butter is a perfect source of saturated fats (“bad” fatty acids). Shop for an olive oil that’s not overly processed, with an “extra virgin” on its label, so that you can be sure that you’re getting the essential acid that you’re after.
While at it, you should also plan your meals with fish as your main course. Since fish like salmon is a good source of omega 3, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to consume them. Since salmon is a tender meat, you can figure out different ways to cook it so that you can prepare them in many ways.
However, if you’re unable to consume fish as regularly, you can visit your healthcare provider for omega 3 oils recommendation. This is to ensure that you’re getting the amount of omega-3 oils that your body needs. Your doctor can recommend reliable supplements, plus supervision of your intake. Although you can thoroughly look into it online, there’s no more reliable than a doctor that knows more about your health.
Trying to live a healthier life can be a significant feat for other people. So, you can take it slow when figuring out how to start your fitness journey. Since food is a massive part of every person’s life, trying to change your eating habits would be a good headstart for you, and knowing what foods would help keep you motivated. Thus, reading this guide on healthy fats can give you an idea of how to proceed.