With all of the talk about healthy fat foods, do they really exist? Can we really be eating healthy fat foods and not suffer from heart disease? These are important questions and deserve answers. Most people are aware that the United States Department of Agriculture has identified a few healthy fat foods. However, what about the rest?
The list is a whopper of a list. There’s also another category known as polyunsaturated fat, which includes many seeds, nuts, and olives, but does not include the more popular choices like sunflower seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and safflower oil. While there are numerous healthy fat foods including those listed in the previous section, any food with more than two-thirds of saturated fat is considered to be “trans-fatty” and should be eaten in moderation. And for those wondering about the cholesterol in foods such as sunflower seeds, studies have shown that eating at least two cups a day of nuts with no added butter reduced bad LDL cholesterol (LDL) cholesterol by seven percent.
Sunflower seeds, walnuts, canola oil, safflower oil, and avocados are all healthy fat foods that are also known to improve overall heart health. Avocado oil contains a type of monounsaturated fat that is similar in structure to human fat and is also beneficial in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Sunflower seeds are loaded with this type of fat along with essential fatty acids.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are trans fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils. While they may taste good, they are actually considered very harmful and can raise LDL cholesterol levels considerably. These trans fats commonly found in partially hydrogenated oils tend to clog artery walls and raise blood pressure, particularly in people with hypertension. Also, trans fats commonly used in cookies and other food items can raise blood sugar to dangerous levels.
The last group of healthy fat foods that we’re going to discuss are the essential fatty acids. These include omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, hemp oil, and walnuts. Eating a handful of nuts each week is enough to reap the benefits, but there are several other great sources as well. You should include salmon, tuna, walnuts, and various types of berries in your daily menu plan. In general, you should eat at least two to three servings of fruits and vegetables from these sources each day.
Healthy Foods to Lose Weight
Now let’s take a look at the individual components of these main types of fat found in foods. There are basically six different types of fat used by your body. They are also broken down into two different categories, ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Your good fat is essential to your body, while your bad fat is not. Trans fat found in margarine and other similar processed foods is considered bad fat, while polyunsaturated fat found in nuts, seeds, fish, seeds, nuts, and various types of oils is considered good fat.
Your good fat intake consists of things like avocados and dark chocolate. Avocados contain almost no fat, but they contain the essential monounsaturated fat that your body needs. Dark chocolate has several healthy properties, including vitamin E, potassium, iron, and some of the essential vitamins A, D, and E. Nuts, soybeans, and some seeds are high in protein, which your body needs for building muscle and maintaining muscle. Walnuts contain high amounts of zinc, which helps prevent anemia.
So what are the best healthy fat foods? Essentially, these are foods that provide the right combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats for a balanced diet. This means that you should make healthy choices when shopping for foods. By eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with lean meats, oily fish, and poultry, you can greatly improve your nutrition. Of course, you should always make sure to speak to your doctor before making any health-related changes to your diet.