Many people are afraid of fats. You might be one. Fats have long received a bad rap for their supposed role in chronic disease and the ongoing obesity epidemic.
Overtime, we have been led to believe that a low-fat diet is what is best for us. As a result, our supermarket shelves are packed full of low- and no-fat products that are packed with sugar – because without any natural fat present these products would not taste good.
What many people don’t know is that fat is actually essential for your body to function at its optimum. Your cells need fats, to produce certain hormones you need fats, to absorb certain nutrients you need fats and to regulate your appetite you need fats. As you can see fats are pretty important.
So, what are some of the heathy fats you can include in your diet? Here are my top 5!
Avocado – One of the healthiest fruits you could consume! Enjoy it on its own, add it to salads, make a dip or even use when making sweet treats. Rich in monounsaturated fats and packed with vitamin E this nutrient rich fruit may help in raising levels of good cholesterol, boosting immunity and acting as an anti-aging nutrient for the skin.
Butter – Raw or grass-fed organic butter is what you should be reaching for. One of the biggest victims of the war on fat, butter is slowly working its way back into out diets. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in butter are both essential fatty acids for your body meaning your body can’t produce them on its own; they must be derived from your diet. These fatty acids help your brain to function at its optimum and may also improve skin health. Butter is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins and certain minerals, including selenium which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body.
Coconut Oil – My favourite oil! Coconut oil has so many benefits for your health. It is a great for your skin, your hair, it helps to improve brain and memory function, helps to increase good cholesterol and promotes heart health. The antioxidants in in coconut oil make it a highly beneficial food to include in your diet from an anti-inflammatory perspective.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – One of the most common oils, EVOO contains high levels of monounsaturated fats, the good ones. Combined with the high levels of antioxidants, EVOO is great for protecting your cells from damage, works as an anti-inflammatory and may help to improve memory and cognitive function.
Omega-3s – As mentioned above, omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids because your body is unable to make its own. There are three different types of “omega-3s”: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Seafood, such as salmon and sardines, are rich sources of EPA and DHA, which are the preferred sources of omega-3s. Nuts and seeds, plus high-quality cuts of meat, such as grass-fed beef, are all sources of ALA.
There are many other healthy types of fats, including nuts, nut butter, tahini and different varieties of oil, such as macadamia, almond and avocado oil. There are endless options for you to try! They will not only make your food taste great but will provide you with a variety of health benefits at the same time. The important point to remember with fats is they are very calorie dense. This means a little bit goes a long way, so watch your portion size when including fats in your diet.
Strength Coach & Nutritionist – Shredded Strength Institute – m. 0400 855 685
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