Top 5 Good Fat Foods
Obesity is the latest known epidemic. In the United States of America alone, about 350,000 people die every year due to obesity related diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of U.S adults are currently suffering from obesity and more than half the population is overweight.
Lifestyle changes are imperative to deal with such a situation. Dietary recommendations essentially constitute one particular sermon. That is, to avoid fatty foods. In this context, it is to be remembered that all fats are not bad and fat is an essential component needed for metabolizing food.
There is a lot of confusion prevailing about good fats and bad fats. In this article, we are going to talk about the top 5 good fat foods. But before that, we are going to have a brief look at the types of fats.
These are the easiest to identify by dint of the fact that they remain solid at room temperature. They are mostly animal fats like butter, cream, cheese, lard etc. Some naturally occurring plant fats are also saturated like that of coconut oil and tropical palm oil. These are the fats that are the worst. They are known to affect heart health by increasing the Low density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. They clog up arteries and can lead to cardiac arrests.
These also make it to the list of the worst offenders. They are obtained by partially hydrogenating unsaturated fats to give it the texture of saturated fats. They are inexpensive and randomly used in fast foods. They can withstand high heat well and are suitable choices for deep frying. The increased consumption of trans fats is linked with coronary heart diseases as it raises the bad LDL cholesterol and lowers the good HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol.
The above two type of fats should not make up for more than 10% of your daily diet.
Poly and Mono unsaturated fats
These are the good ones from the stable of fats. They have heart healthy essential fatty acids which are required for overall good health and metabolism. They also improve the lipid profile and bring down the risk of cardiovascular ailments.
Essential fatty acids with EPA and DHA
These as the name suggest, are essential especially for brain functions. They include the omega- 3, omega- 6 fatty acids with EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are chemically relevant because they are unsaturated fats which contain double bonds on their long structural chain. EPA and DHA are converted into prostaglandins, which are like
hormones that help improve cardiovascular function.
Have a look at the video which talks about good fats in food that can help reduce stubborn belly fat.
What are the top 5 good fat foods?
1. Cold water fish
Fish is an excellent source of good fats like mono-unsaturated and the omega 3 fats. The ones containing these good fats are salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, sardines, anchovies, halibut, mussels, cod etc. Each of them could carry 1000mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Lightly grilled with a healthy fat, they could possibly be one of the healthiest choices of a meal. Fish oil supplements contain healthy essential fatty acids and could be a good alternative to eating fish by itself.
2. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are also a good source of monounsaturated fats. Apart from being a good fat, they are also a good source of fiber, vitamin E and selenium. However, it is important to remember, that a good fat is also a fat and have about 9 calories per gram. So it has to be included in the right quantity to derive the optimum benefit from it. Hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts are good nut choices. Sunflower, chia, pumpkin, sesame seeds are some of the beneficial seed choices.
3. Vegetable oils
Vegetable oil like olive, canola, flax seeds, grape seed and hemp oil are derived from good sources of polyunsaturated fats. They have a high melting point and are resistant to oxidation, making them an ideal choice of a cooking medium. Hemp oil derives 80% of its fat content from polyunsaturated fats found in hemp seeds.
4. Soy bean
This is another power food source gifted by nature. A lot of derivatives are available from soy. Some of them are soy bean oil, soybean curd or tofu, soy milk, soy flour, soy sauce, miso etc. These are a good source of poly unsaturated fats including the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic, which have to be derived from external sources and cannot be produced by the body. These two essential fatty acids help in the absorption of vital nutrients and vitamins. They are essential in hormone secretion and help to regulate cellular function.
Studies have proved that avocado helps to improve lipid profile over time. It is a rich source of mono unsaturated fatty acids like that of the oleic acid. It is also a good source of potassium. Potassium also helps prevent circulatory diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
The above good fat foods should be incorporated in regulated quantities. An important thing to remember is that the total fat consumption, be it good or bad, should not be more than 30% of the total calories from a meal.