Fats were treated as devil for many years. Fat was the food macronutrient that was considered the source of not only obesity but also a host of cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, a few years ago, dieting was definitely supposed to say goodbye to fats in diet. But are there any healthy fats that you can eat without any guilt while trying to lose weight?
Are all fats bad?
Recent medical research has focused on how healthy fats help you. Fats are not all bad. They are essential for good overall health.
There are healthy fats that do not increase cholesterol but rather these friendly fats actually lower your cholesterol levels. These fats have helpful molecules that clean your blood vessels by removing bad fat that can clog the arteries and cause heart disease.
When you eat fatty food, you would feel satiated for longer compared with carbs and protein. One gram of fat is loaded with 9 calories which is the highest of all macronutrients.
Because of this, you would not feel hungry for longer when compared with protein and carbs. Fat is also important in keeping our skin and hair healthy.
There are certain fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D, A and Potassium which our bodies find difficult to absorb when there is not enough fat in our diet. Therefore, a fat free diet will eventually lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and host of other problems.
And of course healthy fats add excellent flavor to cooked food. Nobody wants a bad tasting food. By using healthy fats you could make your foods taste a lot better.
Since fats are essential for our body functions, we should focus on addition of healthy fat sources to our daily diet rather than looking to eliminate fat entirely from our diet as a macronutrient.
List of healthy fats
Here is a list of foods that will provide you with weight loss friendly fats that will be gentle and kind to your body.
- Avocado – One avocado provides you with loads of monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy type of fats. These are the fats that actually increase good cholesterol in your body that works as a natural cleaning agent for your arteries. One avocado (29 grams) provides you with 45 percent of your daily requirement of fats.
- Fish – Salmon fish is an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also has decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eiscosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which are known to decrease risk of heart disease and fight inflammation in the body. One 21g fillet of salmon fish provides you 32 percent of your daily fat intake.
- Nuts – All nuts have high concentrations of healthy fats but walnuts have established a reputation of being a superfood because of healthy omega-3 fats which protect your body from heart disease. Fats in walnuts are also known to improve nervous system. Walnuts also improve high density cholesterol which is the good type of cholesterol.
- Olives – Olive oil makes its way to any healthy fats list. But you can also eat natural olives which also contain the healthy fats as well as compounds called plant sterols which decrease cholesterol levels. However, if you buy olives that have been preserved in salted solution, always soak them in fresh water for a few minutes to decrease sodium.
- Dark Chocolate – Addition of dark chocolate to list of healthy fats surprises many people. But it has the healthy type of fats called stearic acid in cocoa butter which is good for digestive system because it slows the whole digestion process. Dark chocolate is also loaded with plant antioxidants that fight off the free damaging radicals. A few ounces of dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa) is all that you need every day.
- Butter – Butter has had a bad reputation over the years because people believe it is an unhealthy fat because of its high fat content. However, butter has both omega-3 and omega-6 fats. And both these fats are healthy to eat if you remain within the recommended daily intake. The natural fats found in butter are healthier than those found in margarine.
- Peanuts – Peanut butter is also full of healthy fats. Moderation is the key as with all fats because of the high calorie content. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter will provide you 25 percent of your daily fat intake.
- Eggs – Egg is nature’s most perfect foods with all the essential nutrients packed in this small shell. One egg will provide you with 8 percent of your daily fat allowance. Though eggs have high amount of cholesterol in yolk, but modern science has found that eating eggs is safe because dietary cholesterol is not primarily the reason for high cholesterol.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut Oil easily freezes but that can not take coconut oil away from healthy fats list. Coconut oil has triglyceride named lauric acid which improves the cholesterol profile.
- Tofu – Tofu is another healthy fat because it has higher percentage of unsaturated fats which are good for heart health. And apart from that it is also an excellent protein source. One cup of tofu will meet 34 percent of daily fat requirement.
We have listed above some of the earth’s healthiest fats. Gradually include these in your diet without worrying about your heart health if you remain within the daily allowance recommended by Dietary Guidelines which say that not more than 35 percent of daily calories should come from fats. And not more than 10 percent should be from saturated fat.
Eating these healthy fats would help your heart by preventing the damage from bad fats that sneak their way into our diets from processed foods. At the same time you will feel a better version of yourself with more energy. Add one serving of healthy fat with every mail. You will feel less hunger later on and food will also be digested better.