In the 1970s, doctors began advising people from all over the world to reduce their fat intake. Back then, it was considered that fats had a negative influence on the general health, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. The recommendations were based on the research of American physicians, who wrongfully believed that a fat-based diet was particularly bad for the health of the heart. Today, thanks to modern research, it is a known fact that fats are quite healthy, representing an essential part of our diet.
Healthy fats and high-fat foods
The low-fat diet is no longer recommended but this does not mean that all fats are beneficial for the general health. There are certain fats which are considered to be healthy, especially those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These help you maintain the level of good cholesterol, protecting the heart against chronic disease and keeping the blood vessels in an excellent state of health as well.
Among the foods that are rich in healthy fats, there are vegetable oils, nuts and fatty fish. It is always important to seek out natural sources of fat, avoiding food products that have been extensively processed or refined (high content of trans fats, which are particularly harmful for the heart and the cardiovascular system). In order to stay healthy, your diet should include more olive oil, fatty fish, avocados, eggs, nuts & nut butter, coconut oil and dark chocolate. Other sources of healthy fats include cheese, soybeans, seeds, olives and Greek yogurt.
Weight loss & healthy fats
You might not be aware of this for a fact but it is possible to lose weight by including more healthy fats in your diet. In fact, quick weight loss can be achieved by making such dietary changes. Healthy fats help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and, at the same time, they activate your metabolism, stimulating the fat burning process. They feed the body with proteins, allowing you to feel more energetic (as opposed to a diet that is based on carbs, often with sugar crashes and hypoglycemic states).
As it was already mentioned above, if you want to lose weight, you need to consume more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy, polyunsaturated fats, having a positive effect on the different vital organs (heart, liver etc.). On the other hand, you should do your best to avoid foods that have a high content of omega-6 fatty acids and those that are rich in trans fats, such as hydrogenated oil. Basically, you should avoid foods that have gone through extensive processing, as these are rich in saturated fats (not healthy).
The weight loss process can occur in a natural manner by consuming more healthy fats. Apart from the ones that were already named,
You might also want to include the following in your diet:
- Grass-fed beef
- Wild salmon
- Heavy cream
- Milk (perferably organic grass-fed or raw milk)
- Olive Oil
- Flax & chia seeds
- Top-quality bacon
Modern studies confirm that fats are healthy and essential for our diet
According to a study published in Public Health Nutrition, a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids might have a protective role for patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes and obesity (metabolic syndrome). The study also confirmed that the increased intake of trans fats contributed to the existent health problems, enhancing the risk for life-threatening complications.
As the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010) point out, in order to maintain an excellent state of health, it is recommended to replaced saturated fats with those that are unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). The consumption of trans fats should also be limited to a minimum amount or eliminated altogether.
In another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is confirmed that eating lean beef on a regular basis could actually bad lower cholesterol levels and protect the health of the heart. According to the results of the study, the regular consumption of lean beef contributes to the reduction of LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.
A high-fat diet was also presented as a way to fight inflammation and improve body composition, according to a study published in Metabolism. The study confirmed that healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties, especially at the level of the GI tract. They can also keep the blood pressure at a healthy level, preventing complications associated with hypertension. In another study, undertaken by a Swedish university, it was confirmed that coconut fat is beneficial for the body, especially with regard to cholesterol levels.
In conclusion, fats are healthy and essential for our diet, but it is important to pay attention to the type of fats we actually consume. While omega-3 fatty acids are good for us, not the same thing can be said about trans fats, which are often included in processed or refined foods. As you have seen, there are plenty of foods that contain healthy fats, including vegetable oils, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. The most important thing is that you eat fats in moderation, in combination with the other necessary food groups.
Also watch video on “ Health Benefits of Omega 6 Fatty Acids You Should Not Miss”
Author Bio: Ella James is an independent researcher and writer. She has contributed to many online websites related to general health and fitness. Her interests include reading and writing about day-to-day health, fitness, and skin care problems. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.