Here’s the skinny, fats are good for you! Our bodies are designed to store fat for a multitude of purposes. Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and that means that they can only be absorbed and stored in the body in- that’s right you guessed it – fats! Did you know that the human brain is 60% fat? Essential fatty acids promote healthy development of the nervous system in children and as well deter cognitive impairment in the elderly. Fats are the main component of cell membranes and are even an essential part of hormones.
But wont eating fats make me fat? Negative! It’s the type of fat that counts- check out some of these healthy fats to incorporate into your diet for your optimal and vital being:
- Olive oil. Opt for cold-pressed. Olive oil makes a delicious substitute for store-bought/processed salad dressings. Additionally, studies have demonstrated the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and olive oil consumption for decreasing the risk of adverse cardiac events.
- This delicious fruit contains MUFAs (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) and are associated with overall increased quality of diet and a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome.
- My personal favourite are walnuts. These guys are rich in phytochemicals and PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids); the high amounts of polyphenolic compounds are a great source of antioxidants for the brain by helping to decrease inflammation and improve firing of nerve cells. Ever wonder how walnuts resemble brains?
- Coconut oil. Probably the most versatile and accessible oil out there, the compounds in coconut oil help to decrease inflammation in the body. This oil is great for stir-fry dishes and even helps with dryness when applied to the skin directly.
What to avoid:
- Deep-fried foods, processed foods, and saturated fats. These bad boys are a no-no!
The take home message today: don’t be afraid of fats! Aim for healthy nut butters to add to your morning power smoothies, avocados are tasty additions to salad that help fill you up,
and fatty fish such as salmon are light on the waistline but heavy on the nutrients. Healthy fats promote whole wellbeing. It’s a marathon friends, I encourage you to make the better choices today – your body will thank you tomorrow!
Dalen, J., & Devries, S. (n.d.). Diets to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease 1957- 2013: What Have We Learned? The American Journal of Medicine.
Fulgoni, V., Dreher, M., & Davenport, A. (n.d.). Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008. Nutrition Journal, 1-1.
Poulose, S., Miller, M., & Shukitt-Hale, B. (n.d.). Role of Walnuts in Maintaining Brain Health with Age. Journal of Nutrition, 561S-566S.