Why Healthy Fats Are Good for You
There are still many people who are under the impression that all fats are bad. However, the guideline of cutting as many fats from your diet as possible to stay slim and trim is old and outdated news. It has since been discovered that dietary fats are a vital element to a healthy diet. This is due to their assistance with fat-soluble nutrients being better absorbed into the body. Such vitamins and minerals are key elements in organ development, bone growth, and cell and nerve function.
For most people, the term “fats” conjures up images of obesity and its associated diseases. Although this is a true assumption for unhealthy trans fats, there are other healthy fats found in certain oils, plant products and even animal products which are invaluable for good health.
Healthy Fats Praised by Experts
Walther Willett, Harvard University School of Public Health’s chairman of the nutrition department along with Dariush Mozaffarian, his assistant, praised the benefits of healthy fat consumption at the World of Healthy Flavors Conference held recently in Napa, California.
These experts emphasized how high levels of refined carbohydrates and salt were present in many of the low-fat foods. These unhealthy additives are added to such foods in order to make up for the lost flavor which natural fats give to the foods. However, these refined additives are also lacking in nutrition and have been linked to a variety of health issues such as heart disease and obesity.
What’s more, these refined, or simple carbs, used to flavor low-fat snacks and drinks cause blood sugar and insulin spikes which can eventually lead to diabetes. High carb, low-fat diets also impact cholesterol levels, raising the bad LDL blood fats and decreasing the good HDL cholesterol. It is has been shown that high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol can lead to increased heart disease risk.
Saturated Fats in a Healthy Diet
It’s common knowledge that unsaturated fats derived from plant sources such as olives, nuts, avocados, and peanut and olive oils are good for a healthy diet. (Note: Canola oil is often included in this list, but the rapeseeds from which it is derived have to be heavily processed which damages the oil and creates trans fats.) However, saturated fats found in meat, eggs and dairy products as well as certain oils like palm, palm kernel and coconut have also been found to be healthy additions to a nutritious diet… in moderation, of course.
Studies have revealed that saturated fats provide numerous health benefits and decrease the risk for certain diseases. Saturated fats help to improve cardiovascular health, build strong bones, improve the function of the liver, promote healthy lungs and brain, provide proper nerve signal function and increase the immune system.
So, what are you waiting for? Pump up your healthy diet and include more unsaturated and saturated fats while reducing trans fats. Your body and taste buds will thank you!
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