It is no surprise that nowadays many people are concerned about their fat intake since more than two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight. If you walk through any food market aisle, you'll see many low-fat and non-fat products to keep your dietary fat levels and of course, your weight – low.
But sometimes, fat-free or low-fat products may actually do more harm than good.
For years, doctors and nutritionists have preached the benefits of a low-fat diet. We've been told that reducing the amount of fat from our diet is the key to managing cholesterol, losing weight, and preventing health problems. But it's important to remember that not all fats are bad. In fact, some fats are healthy and our body needs some of them for certain functions. Research has shown that, more than the amount of fat in your diet, it's the types of fat that really matter.
While choosing the fats, you just need to get the right amount, and the right kinds. So, what's the right amount? According to many health experts, about one quarter of total calories should come from fat each day. For example, if you're following a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, then around 500 calories should come from fat. Again the question is, which are the right kinds? The unsaturated fats are the healthiest fats. There are two main types of unsaturated fats : polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
This is a type of fat which is generally found in plants, such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils such as safflower, soy, and com. Research shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can also decrease your risk of heart disease. These fats also help in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids, one type of polyunsaturated fat, are found in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and herring and are beneficial to your heart. Walnuts and flaxseeds are vegetable sources of omega-3.
It is a type of fat mostly found in a variety of foods and oils. Research has shown that monounsaturated fats may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar controls which can be helpful especially to those having type 2 diabetes. The best sources of this type of fats are canola, peanut,and olive oils, along with avocados and most kinds of nuts. They can also help to lower your cholesterol level.
Choosing healthy fats is an important step toward a healthier diet. Because, bad fats increase the cholesterol as well as risk of certain diseases while good fats have the opposite effects such as protecting your heart and supporting overall health. In fact, some good fats are absolutely not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional well-being. Hence, knowing what to avoid and what to use can help you make better decisions as well as stay on track.