Whenever one hears the word fat, one often thinks of obesity, health problems, high cholesterol and so on. From this point of view, solving all weight related problems seems easy; just eliminate all the fat from your diet and you will never be fat again. But is it truly that simple? Fat is actually important to the human body; without it, skin and hair become fragile and brittle, colon problems develop and your overall health can be seriously affected. The problem is not the fat itself, it is the type of fat in your diet.
How much fat is allowed?
To start with the most important matter, let’s look at how much fat is necessary to function properly, but without gaining extra pounds. According to official dietary guidelines, around 20% to 35% of all calories eaten in a day by an adult should come from fat. When you are trying to lose weight, you can reduce this percentage to around 10%, but you should never eliminate it completely.
Bad fats and good fats
Getting fat in your diet to maintain healthy depends on what kind of fat you are eating. On the one hand, animal fat is the worst kind, as it is the kind that accumulates in the body, blocks arteries and causes cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fat are known to be “good” fats that create beneficial cholesterol, contribute to overall health, and do not lead to accumulation of fat in the body and the arteries.
Omega-3 fatty acids
You can obtain your “good” fat from fish. Being a delicious and lean meat, fish is recommended to be eaten at least three times per week. It is known that these omega-3 fatty acids are also responsible for mental health including memory, so it is important to have them in your diet.
Monounsaturated fat sources
Besides the good fats you can obtain from eating fish, there are also other sources of good fats. Monounsaturated fat is another type of “good” fat that increases the beneficial cholesterol and helps with your overall health.
Great sources of monounsaturated fat are avocados, all types of nuts, such as peanuts, almonds, and cashews. Cooking oil obtained from olives, sunflowers, peanuts, or sesame seeds is ideal for dressing salads, as it represents a great source of vitamin E and healthy fat.