Healthy Fats: Why You Need to Eat More and Where to Get Them


Source: Bembu

Is it true that a diet consisting mostly of cheeseburgers and fried chicken will significantly increase your risk of dying early? Well, technically, yes. While saturated fats aren’t the only reason, they’re a big contributor. Especially if you’re not eating enough healthy fats — found in a variety of foods, like nuts, fish, and plants.

Healthy fats are everywhere, and that’s a good thing. The more fatty foods you eat, the better your health will be. People who follow the Mediterranean diet are often healthier long-term because of its focus on plant-based foods, fish, and healthy oils. In reality, fat isn’t bad for you at all. It’s the type of fat, and how much fat you consume, that matters the most.

So what are the differences between the two main types of fat? What makes healthy fats so healthy, and which foods are the most beneficial sources? Learn all this, plus how to balance your fat intake. Not all fat is bad. A mix of different foods is your best bet at living a long, healthy life. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know.

The different types of fat

You’ve probably heard plenty of times before not to eat fat, especially something called saturated fat. Are all types of fat as dangerous and bad for your health as people say? There’s a lot of confusion surrounding dietary fat, and a lot of misinformation, too. This is likely because people mostly talk about saturated fat — the “bad” type of fat. They don’t talk quite as much about unsaturated fats — the “good” types of fat.

There are major differences between the different types of fat. One comes from animals, while the other comes from plants. One can raise your blood cholesterol, while the other can lower it. Their properties have different effects on your health. To understand why healthy fats are so good for you, you need to understand why unhealthy fats, well … aren’t.

Saturated fat

This type of fat, called saturated fat, comes from animal sources, coconut, and palm oils. Saturated fat, solid at room temperature, raise total blood cholesterol as well as the amount of “bad” cholesterol, which is why too much can harm your health. As we will discuss later in this article, unsaturated fats can be harmful if eaten regularly in large amounts, but they’re not the sole cause of heart disease.

Unsaturated fats

Unlike saturated fat, unsaturated fats come primarily from plant sources, such as seeds or nuts, and are liquid at room temperature. These fats are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, which is what you will often see listed among a food label’s ingredients if they’re present. They lower total blood cholesterol levels, sometimes raising the amount of “good” cholesterol.

There is technically a third type of fat, called trans fat. Thankfully, more and more food manufacturers have begun removing trans fat from their products. The FDA no longer recognizes artificial trans fats as safe for human consumption. Though it can’t hurt to check your food labels just in case, you won’t find harmful trans fats in most of your go-to foods.

Benefits of healthy fats

The differences between the different types of fat aren’t as simple as: “Saturated fat is bad, unsaturated fat is good. Eat less fat and you’ll be fine.” You can’t just stop eating fat altogether and expect to be able to maintain your health for very long. Your body needs fat for energy, for metabolism, for keeping you alive. It’s not just about eating less saturated fat. You also have to eat more unsaturated fat, to take advantage of all its many health benefits.

Increased HDL “good” cholesterol

High-density lipoproteins, or HDL, has a very specific job inside your body. You have two types of cholesterol in your blood, LDL, and HDL. LDLs, if there are too many of them, can cause heart problems. That’s where HDL comes in. Think of HDLs as microscopic garbage trucks. They find excess LDLs in your blood, pick them up, and carry them to your liver for disposal. Therefore, HDLs lower the amount of potentially harmful LDLs in your system, lowering your cholesterol. And what’s the benefit of that, you might ask?

 Decreased heart disease risk

Excess LDL cholesterol in your blood — and not enough HDL — can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries. This, of course, can cause heart disease, heart attack, and stroke in some people. Your heart depends on your arteries to be able to pump blood easily throughout your body. When your arteries are coated in plaque, your heart has to work harder to get its job done. This stresses and tires it out, which might even eventually cause it to fail completely.

Improved blood sugar control

Foods high in unsaturated fats aren’t just good for your heart. Mayo Clinic suggests a diet that includes healthy fats might reduce your type 2 diabetes risk. This may in part be because many foods containing healthy fats are also often high in fiber, which can prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Processed foods, often high in saturated fats, often contain sugars that cause blood sugar spikes and crashes. Eating more foods with healthy fats in them, few of which are processed is better for your blood sugar and lowering your diabetes risk.


Tags: , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

2 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Rob says:

    Hi clnAdrian, I have an increased cholesterol, I keep checking Dr. Google to keep a watch and low the cholesterol, came across your article via one of the searches, the information shared – saturated fats is good for a lay man like me, I also came across this article on the net, I would love if you can share something more simple for readers like me.

  2.' Heather says:

    My cholesterol, has increased in the last 2 months, I am now at risk of heart disease, I am now keeping a tab on my eating habits and referring to site likes for healthy habits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend