Are you eating enough Fats?

A healthy diet along with adequate physical activity is the key to a healthy life. It is common knowledge that proteins are the ‘go to’ food these days to gain muscle mass and size. Carbohydrates provide the much needed energy. However, what gets neglected in this equation, are fats. Fats are an equally important component of a healthy diet and if neglected, may cause serious health complications.

”But won’t eating fat, make me fat?” The answer to this is not a simple yes or a no. As with other aspects of human health, a lot of things need to be considered. Firstly, it isn’t just fat which makes a person fat. High intake of carbohydrates, which is not used by the body as energy, tend to get stored as fat too. All fats are not created equal. Dietary fats, are essentially of two kinds. Good and Bad. Including a lot of bad fats in your diet will definitely make you fat. A simple segregation of types of fat could be explained as:

Healthy Fats

Type of Fat

Major Food Sources

Monounsaturated Fat / Monounsaturates

Olive, canola and peanut oils, avocados, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds

Polyunsaturated Fat / Polyunsaturates

Omega-6 Fat

 

Safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn oils, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds

Omega 3 Fat

Fattier fish, canola and soybean oils, flax seed, omega-3 eggs, walnuts

Unhealthy Fats

Type of Fat

Major Food Sources

Saturated Fat / Saturates

 

 

In many prepared foods made with hydrogenated oils, as well as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and cocoa butter.

Trans Fats

In all foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and many snack foods, fast foods and ready-prepared foods

So from a dietary standpoint, we should endeavour to include as many healthy fats in our diet as possible, and stay away from the unhealthy ones. By doing so, we can assure that not only are we giving our body what it needs to function properly but also, not eating what is harmful. Removing fats from ones diet altogether is also not advisable because a diet that is low in fat can lead to certain health problems. Some of the possible complications arising out of a low fat diet may be poor vitamin absorption, high cholesterol and thus heart disease and imbalance of other nutrients.

Therefore, a good mix of proteins carbs and fats in moderation, is the key to a balanced nutrition.

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