WHAT ARE HEALTHY FAT FOODS? HOW MUCH IS GOOD FOR YOU?
If you have heard eating foods high in fat are good for you, but have no idea where to start, then you aren’t alone. For years we have been told to stay clear of such foods, but high fat foods are back in the spotlight in a good way, as an integral part of a healthy diet.
There is an indisputable misrepresentation surrounding fats, but despite the bad rep these foods have had, the fact is, some of your favourite healthy ingredients are considered “high fat foods”.
To understand all you need to know about what are healthy fats, what are unhealthy fats and how much do you need of both, then read on to discover our easy guide to eating the right fatty foods.
WHAT ARE GOOD FAT FOODS?
Good fat foods are foods high in natural oils and can be categorised into the following types:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
To make things simple, monounsaturated fats can be found mostly in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and even sardines. Other foods include olives, flower seed and some nuts, including walnuts, almonds, sunflower seed & flax seeds.
Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats are generally linked to plant based foods and include: a variety of nuts, avocado, olive oil, peanut oil & butter and sesame oil.
WHY ARE GOOD FATS GOOD FOR YOUR BODY?
All of the above foods are 100% good for you and critical for good health, but why you may ask?
Firstly, the big thing to remember is, not all fats are bad for you. In fact, your body requires a regular intake of fat to perform natural bodily functions such as burning energy and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins just to name a few.
High good fat foods are responsible for:
Good brain function. While saturated fat has been linked to poor brain health. Good fats are necessary to support both short and long-term brain function by helping to build and repair brain cells.
Reducing Inflammation. Not only can high fat foods help stop inflammation, but omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines can also help the cause. Be sure to avoid saturated fats as this can reduce all the work good fats can bring.
Good heart health. Foods rich in Monounsaturated fats & Polyunsaturated fats have been identified by the Heart Foundation as helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease by decreasing the risk of clotting, reducing blood pressure and improving blood vessel function.
Other headline health benefits good fat foods can offer include:
- Supporting cell growth and hormone production.
- Helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, K and E.
- Contributing to maintaining and regulating body temperature.
WHAT ARE THE BAD FATS?
Unfortunately, these are a little easier to find and can pose some big dangers to your health and wellbeing. Bad fats are classified as artificial trans fats and saturated fat and can be found in the following foods:
- Deep-fried foods
- Margarine and butter
- Vegetable shortening
- Processed snack foods
- Palm oil
The Heart Foundation warns the above foods when eaten in moderate to high consumption can lead to increasing your blood cholesterol. In addition, too much consumption of trans fat can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowering the good cholesterol (HDL) in our blood.
Rather than trying to adopt a low-fat diet, health professionals claim a good rule of thumb is to focus on eating beneficial “good” fats and avoiding harmful “bad” fats.
So if all this is making you consider a diet high in good fat, then the best place to start is looking to keto labelled meals. These meals are considered low in carbohydrates, high in protein and high in good fats. Meal prep high in good fats will ensure you have the fuel you need to promote muscle growth and provide the ability to absorb critical vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal performance.
Whatever you decide, just remember there is a clear difference between good fats and bad fats.
So why not enjoy another avocado salad or a handful of almonds; your body will thank you for it!