Fats are considered the culprit for your increasing waistline and raising cholesterol levels. This anticipation makes low-fat or fat-free diets knight in shining armour.
We are so prejudiced with the word ‘Fat’ as it sounds like something unhealthy which one should avoid. But as a matter of fact, fats are an important part of a healthy diet, your weight loss mission can not be acquired by just eliminating fat from your diet. According to nutrition experts, people who cut back on fats, end up eating a lot more sugar and carbohydrates.
Knock-out bad fats from your diet
These low-fat items become the most sought out things on grocery stores shelves. We think, “Oh!!! It’s low-fat, which means it is healthier.” But the truth is that to maintain its taste and texture low-fat food products are replacing fat with hydrogenated vegetable oils and sugar. Low-fat foods are higher in refined carbohydrates, and to maintain good taste sugar is substituted for fat.
So these low-fat or fat-free foods are rich in artificial trans-fats and actually have the same calorie count as the original full-fat product.
Low-fat and fat-free foods didn’t nudge rates of obesity downwards. It will be better if you scrutinize types of fats you choose and portions or size when it comes to satiation and health.
Why Fats are Important
They are the largest and cleanest source of energy. Fats provide 9 calories per gram more than protein and carbohydrates. It is easy to get confused as some fats are good for your health whereas some fats have adverse effects on your health.
Some bodily functions rely on the presence of fats, such as
- Fats help to absorb some vitamins like vitamin A, E, D,K which are fat-soluble vitamins, which are stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Along with these vitamins, helps in the absorption of some minerals also.
- Fats are needed to build cell membranes. As these are the vital exterior of each cell.
- Fats are essential for blood clotting and muscle movements.
- Fats provide essential fatty acids, keep your skin soft.
- Fats are the great source of energizing fuel.
- Fats help to maintain the body’s core temperature.
- Fats are essential for the growth and development of the body.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your health when consumed in moderation. Eat nuts,avocados, almonds and walnuts, these are good fats.
Benefits of good fats
- Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
- Lower triglycerides associated with heart disease and fight inflammation.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
Industrial made and trans-fats have adverse effects on your body, as trans fat rich food increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. It is linked with heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, chronic conditions.
Small amounts of saturated fats are good, which is found naturally in animal fats, dairy products like butter, whole-milk, high fat cheese.
Modify your intake based on the factors such as activity level, weather and diet.
When it comes to diet, fats have a bad reputation. As cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity arise because of fats. But not all fats are the same, some are good too if taken in moderation.
This old proverb is a guide for doing anything in moderation, “Excess of everything is bad.” It helps you to live a balanced life. Even the excellent things can seem terrible if they are used too frequently.
For example, even the water which is one of the essential things for the body,can cause problems if consumed too much. The excess water dilutes sodium in the bloodstream, which can lead to impaired brain function.
Recommendations about Fats in your diet –
|Recommended Fats||Recommended Fats with balanced quantity||Not recommended|
|Monounsaturated fat include:|
– Olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils
– OlivesNuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
– Peanut butter
Polyunsaturated fat include:
– Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
– Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
– Soybean and safflower oil
|Saturated fat include:|
– Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
– Chicken skin
– Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)
– Ice cream
– Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil
|Trans fat include:|
– Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
– Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
– Stick margarine, vegetable shortening
– Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
– Anything containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, even if it claims to be “trans fat-free”
Fats can be your best friend or your worst enemy
Consuming too much fat can be harmful to your health. It’s time to kill the bad fat, not the good one. Try to integrate healthy fats like omega3 fatty acids in your diet. Like fish, egg and nuts, if you are not eating fish and eggs even then there are so many things like chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and tofu have a go at them.
It is important to have quality, whole food diet consisting of low refined carbohydrates, high in fiber and with low glycemic index, which can help to to control your fat-cells. Hence, having good quality fats is important for our boldly functions.
Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.