SHA Magazine Health & Beauty
Why healthy fats are essential for optimum health
There’s a common misconception that fats are bad for you and eating low-fat foods are a good substitute for both your health and your waistline. Unfortunately, the dieting industry has promoted low-fat foods as being healthy and good for weight-loss. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The myth behind fat has recently been unveiled by a New York Times article stating that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to claim that fats were the leading cause of heart disease and not sugar. By shifting the blame on fats, they gained a negative reputation and people thought that fats made you fat.
As a result, a false idea around fats arised, making people believe that they had to stay away from them. However, this common misconception is very misleading. Of course, it is important to distinguish good fats from bad fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good kind and trans and saturated fats are the ones you should stay away from.
Because fats gained such a negative reputation, low-fat foods gained popularity. Low-fat foods led people to believe they were a healthier alternative and didn’t cause weight gain. What many people don’t know about these so called low-fat foods is that they actually contain sugar and other artificial ingredients. And, as we’ve learned, if there is anything that causes weight gain, it’s sugar. Therefore, don’t be fooled by low-fat foods!
The functions of healthy fats
Healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) are a very important food group for optimal health. They are in charge of many essential functions that are required for everyday bodily processes.
They are a source of energy
They contain essential fatty acids responsible for growth and development of cell functions
They are essential for brain health and nerve functioning
Maintaining healthy skin and tissues
Transporting fat-soluble vitamins (A,D, E and K) through the bloodstream to then be absorbed
Forming steroid hormones important for bodily processes.
All these functions carried out by fats are vital for our health. Therefore, including healthy fats in our diet is of maximum importance.
Foods rich in healthy fats:
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, etc.
- Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame, flax seeds, etc.
- Sesame, olive and coconut oil
- Omega 3 rich fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.
All of these foods, aside from being rich in healthy fats, are also full of essential nutrients. Including them in your diet, alongside proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, will be very beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
You’ll have glowing skin, bountiful energy, a healthy weight, healthy brain functioning, balanced hormones, and you’ll be absorbing all the vitamins you’re ingesting through your diet.
Having said that, make sure to include healthy fats in your diet and forget ever thinking that they weren’t good for you or they could make you gain weight. Quite the opposite! Your health and wellbeing will reap all their benefits!