Healthy fats: it’s a word that has earned much confusion among health-food enthusiasts and fitness junkies alike. Demonized to the point of disdain, many avoid fats as a general axiom where healthy eating is concerned. After all, fats and carbs contribute to a higher risk of heart disease and weight gain, right?
But what about ‘healthy fats’ then?
Well, while it is true that your risk of heart disease increases with your consumption of certain fats, you shouldn’t avoid it altogether. And this is especially true of healthy fats that your body needs to function. It may be difficult to imagine, but dietary fats do play an essential part in your health.
But why do we still avoid dietary fats so often then?
That comes down to the misconception that all fats are the same. That could not be further from the truth. In reality, dietary fats (fats obtained through food) are separated into three district categories:
- trans fats
- saturated fats
- unsaturated fats
What are trans fats?
Typically found in processed foods to improve flavour and texture, trans fats tend to be artificially produced by adding hydrogen into vegetable oils. Trans fats are also called ‘partially hydrogenated oils’. You should avoid consuming these fats completely.
Consumption of trans fats can lead to coronary disease, Type-2 diabetes and weight gain by raising your blood cholesterol levels.
What are saturated fats?
Unlike trans fats, saturated fats are naturally occurring in some foods. But just because they’re natural, that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily good for you. Like trans fats, saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol levels, exposing you to the risk of heart disease all the same.
Finally, we have unsaturated fats. Comprised of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, these are considered to be the only ‘healthy’ fats to consume. These fats contain one or more double bonds in their chemical composition.
- Monounsaturated fats: Contains only one double bond in its structure.
- Polyunsaturated fats: Contains more than one double bond in its structure.
Your diet should ideally contain a healthy balance of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. When consumed in moderation, these unsaturated fats have shown the ability to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The best kind of unsaturated fat to consume is Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids respectively. As your body can’t produce these fatty acids naturally, your diet is your only source for healthy fats.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Chia Seeds
Foods rich in Omega-6 fatty acids include:
- Sunflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Avocado oil
For a top-down look at what diets you should be planning for, take a look at this short and sweet breakdown by professional Nutrafit dietitian Farhaana Ishak.
To obtain your very own personalised meal plan and treatment solution that best complements your needs, drop by your nearest Curvena outlet today or DM us on IG to find out how you can schedule your first step to a better body.
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