Should you include fats in your diet? If so, what kind of fats and how much should be included? If you want all your doubts cleared, then better read this post rather attentively. Fats are nutrients that are used by the body to build nerve tissue including the brain and the nerves. Fats are required for healthy hormone production and they also supply energy to the body.
The main types of fats are unsaturated fats and saturated fats. The unsaturated fats are found in plant foods and fish and they are very beneficial to the heart. They can be grouped into monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are good fats and they are found in olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocadoes, olives and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are further grouped as omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. They are called as essential fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most media friendly forms of poly unsaturated oils because so much has been written about them. They are found in oily fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, blue fish, sardines, walnuts and freshly ground wheat germ.
Omega 3 fatty acids are considered super fats for brain and heart. They prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression, protects against memory loss and dementia, reduce the risk of heart diseases, stroke and cancer. These omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the developing embryo. It eases the symptoms of arthritis, joint pain and inflammatory skin condition. More details about omega 3 in the following link http://healthyhomosapien.blogspot.com/2012/03/health-benefits-of-omega-3-fatty-acids.html
The next type of polyunsaturated fats is the omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is found in primrose oil, borage oil, black current oil, safflower, sunflower, corn, soya bean and cotton seed oil.
The essential fatty acids are a must for normal functioning of the immune system. Their deficiencies can lead to arthritis like conditions, asthma, eczema, hair loss, liver or kidney degeneration, growth retardation, vision and learning problems.
Trans fats are unsaturated fats but which are not good for health. They may increase the likelihood of coronary heart disease. They are found in margarine, commercial snack foods and baked goods. To be more specific they are found in pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, packaged snack foods, French fries, fried chicken, nuggets, breaded fish and candy bars.
Saturated fatty acids also called as the bad fats, raise the cholesterol levels in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease. They are found in beef, lamb, pork, chicken with skin, whole fat dairy products, butter, cheese, ice cream, palm and coconut oils.
To be hale and healthy avoid or limit the use of food stuffs which contain saturated and trans fat. See, your total fat make up should be around 20 to 35% of calories per day, out of this you should limit saturated fat intake to less than 10% of calories. Limit trans fats to 2 gm per day.
Good news!! For all those of you who are fat. Scientists have discovered that oil derived from seeds of wild almond tree fights against certain micro organisms in our bellies which improve glucose tolerance and insulin stability. The experiment was done on mice.
Another latest study found that stone fruits such as peaches, plums and nectarines have bioactive compounds which fights obesity related diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To summarize choose your sources of fats wisely because good fats are essential for optimal health. Eat better and live better.
photos courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
photo of olive oil with olives by m-bartosh
photo of nuts in basket by zole4