Hi everyone! Today’s post is all about the importance of healthy fats and how to incorporate more into your diet. Healthy fats have a profound role in maintaining our body’s regular functions, but fats in general tend to have a lot of confusion surrounding them. Fats tend to have a bad rep, but I’m here to inform you that you NEED healthy fats in your diet, so let’s jump in.
Fats are important for many reasons. They provide insulation for our cells and organs, which proteins and carbohydrates cannot do. They are also incredibly important for brain function, hormone regulation, and cellular health. Fats are responsible for assisting in the digestion of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which help keep our hair, skin, nails, tissues, and organs healthy and thriving. In addition, having fats with meals helps us stay full for longer because the body takes longer to digest them, and the satiety hormones associated with their components.
There are two types of fats: unsaturated fat and saturated fat.
Unsaturated fat is an umbrella term for the two subcategories of fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These types of fats have the ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol! Polyunsaturated fats are also known as omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly beneficial in supporting brain health and function, hormone regulation, immunity, and they provide the body with substantial energy. Monounsaturated fats are also a part of a healthy diet, and are a good source of vitamin E. Unsaturated fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocados, vegetable oils, and fatty fish such as salmon.
Saturated fat is generally considered the “unhealthy” fat. This type of fat is found in oils that are solid at room temperature, as well as in meat and some dairy products. Saturated fat is considered unhealthy because it raises LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk for obesity and heart disease. Also, our bodies make saturated fat on their own, so we actually don’t need to get any from our diet. Best to limit the intake of these fats and instead focus on consuming unsaturated ones.
I want you to keep in mind that you can have everything in moderation. I am here to inform you and guide your healthy choices. I want you to gain knowledge here so that you can apply it to your everyday life! Fats are not taboo. They are essential in our diets, it’s just that unsaturated fats offer a multitude of benefits and are health-promoting, and saturated ones tend to have more drawbacks. My advice would be to try and get at least 75% of your fat intake from unsaturated fat sources, and 25% or less from saturated ones. This way, you aren’t restricting the foods you love that may have saturated fats, but you are more focused on consuming the healthiest variety of fats possible!
As always, we are here at ESO to guide you through your health journey, and want to be there every step of the way. If you have any questions about fats in your diet, or anything nutrition related, please reach out – we want to get to know you!