Healthy Vs Unhealthy Fat: What's What?
With the trending diets out there today, from keto to vegan, confusion abounds about whether fat is good or bad, and which types of fat are healthy and not. You'll want to forget everything you've ever heard about fat, and then learn about the effects each type of fat has in the body. Hopefully, this can help you make healthier choices with all the options available.
Monounsaturated fats are good fats shown to lower your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease. They're in seeds, nuts, nut butter, olive oil and avocados. Try adding olive oil, pumpkin seeds or avocados to a salad to get more monounsaturated fats.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are the ultimate good fat for your heart and brain. They not only reduce your risk for heart disease, but also the risk for heart arrhythmia and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. You've probably heard of fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fats. However, you can incorporate omega-3s into your daily diet by eating fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, cod and herring.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids also have cholesterol-lowering benefits for your heart, as long as you eat them at a ratio between 2 to 1 and 4 to 1 omega-6s to omega-3s. You can find omega-6s in vegetable oils like palm oil and canola oil.
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of saturated fat that is good for you. MCTs boost your brain function and energy levels. They're shown to lower your risk for Alzheimer's disease and even improve symptoms in people who have the disease. Coconut oil is a great source of MCTs with a host of other benefits as well.
Fats play a protective role in your body (as well as your brain) on a cellular level. They're just as important as protein, even though they're high in calories. As long as you're getting the right types of fats and eating fatty foods in moderation, these important nutrients will benefit your health, give you energy and even protect your brain as you age.