We’re constantly being told to avoid fatty foods if we want to maintain good health. Everywhere we go there are examples of low fat foods; low fat crisps, dairy products, low fat cheese, etc. Many of these foods are highly processed just to state on their label that they are “low fat”.
The low-fat brigade has always insisted that it’s high fats we need to avoid as they are dangerous to our health. Over the past six decades, fats have been demonized and cited as the root cause of various problems including cancer, heart disease, obesity and many other illnesses. Many people in the West have been following a low fat craze for many decades and yet it has only made them feel fatter and sicker than ever before.
The reason for this is that fat isn’t the true culprit. In fact the right type of fats are essential for the body and proper cellular functioning. Below are a list of “natural fats” that are beneficial for both the body and mind…
This interesting fruit is comprised of 77 percent fat but it contains beneficial oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that’s also found within olive oil. It is a rich source of potassium, containing 40% more potassium than bananas. In studies, avocados have been shown to lower triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They are also rich in 20 essential health boosting nutrients including Vitamin E, B-vitamins, Folic Acid, Fiber and Potassium. Research has also shown that avocados are good for regulating blood sugar levels, meaning they are beneficial for diabetics or people with pre-diabetes.
2) Flax Seeds
One gram of flaxseeds contains four grams of fat, one of which is monounsaturated and three of which are polyunsaturated. Flax seeds are also rich in lignans, containing 75-800 times more lignans than any other type of plant. These act as antioxidants within the body killing off any free radicals that may cause damage within the body on a cellular level. A good source of flax seeds can be found in Hemp Seed Oil which contains Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils.
3) Chia Seeds
These are a great source of healthy fats with one ounce of chia seeds containing 9 grams of fat. These seeds are highly nutritious and have various health benefits that can lower blood pressure levels and inflammation within the body. The chia seeds are also a rich source of trace minerals that can be found in various foods. Chia seeds are also rich in fiber, protein, fat, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous.
4) Olive Oil
Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants and an essential part of the healthy Mediterranean diet. 10 large olives added to your salad can provide 5 grams of healthy fats, 3.5 grams are monounsaturated and .4 are polyunsaturated. Olive oil contains 13.8% saturated fat along with Omega-5, Omega-3, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. The best type of olive oil is extra virgin and is extracted using natural methods to ensure its purity.
These are an excellent source of healthy fats and fiber. Studies show that people who eat nuts regularly are healthier and also have less risk of developing various kinds of chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and walnuts which are excellent for snacking on. Walnuts are 65% fat and contain small amounts of protein, while being low in carbs. Omega-3 fats contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and this is especially beneficial for heart health.
6) Dark Chocolate
Chocolate has a reputation for being a high fat food and dark chocolate in particular is known to have about 65 percent of its calories from healthy fats. They are also rich in antioxidants that can fight free radicals that cause inflammation and disease. Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure levels, preventing LDL cholesterol within the blood from becoming oxidized. High quality dark chocolate consisting of at least 70 percent cocoa can have various health benefits for the body. Dark chocolate can improve brain function and protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
7) Fatty Fish
Mackerel, salmon, sardines, halibut and trout are all examples of fish that contain healthy fats. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are healthy for the heart and high in good quality protein. Fatty fish contains Vitamin B12, Creatine, Vitamin D3 and Carnosine that’s created out of two amino acids in high concentrations within the muscle tissue and the brain. Fatty fish also contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are rich in essential fatty acids such as EPA, DHA and ALA. If you don’t like fish then a good source of these oils can be found in The Krill Miracle.
By looking at the different types of healthy fats in foods and how they affect the body it’s possible to determine what you should be including more of within your diet on a daily basis to achieve long term good health.