Why All the Hype About Healthy Fats?

Everything you need to know about healthy fats.

Aug 26, 2020

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If you are striving to make a change in diet, you have probably come across the words “healthy fats” in your search. But what exactly is the hype about healthy fats? Is it a healthier way to eat or just a passing fad? 

Whole-food based, these fats are created in nature and eating them can improve the quality and length of your life. So have a look at your pantry, peek in your fridge, evaluate your meal planning, then invite natural, healthy fats into your life!

Essentially, the closer something is to its natural form, the healthier the food is. The term healthy fat refers to monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Some of the healthiest fats include coconut, avocado, eggs, cheese, dairy fat, animal fat, butter, fish, olive oil, and coconut oil. You can get rid of unhealthy fats by eliminating any processed food or genetically-modified ingredients you may have at home.

Dr. Cate Shanahan offers a solid piece of advice on  Mind Body Green. “If we're talking about fat, that's a whole food, that's good. That's natural fat, and human beings have been consuming it since there were human beings,” he said.

MUFAs, according to the Mayo Clinic, improve the function of blood vessels. That can reduce your risk of a heart attack as well as reduce LDL cholesterol which blocks arteries and can negatively affect heart health. They also help with blood sugar control.

Another type of healthy fat is polyunsaturated fat. These Omega-3s are mainly found in foods such as seeds, nuts, fish, and algae. Other kinds of polyunsaturated fats, termed Omega-6s, are found in different plant-based oils. These are essential fatty acids that are required by the body for cell growth and proper brain function. Bodies can’t produce essential fatty acids on their own, so you must include them in your diet in order to receive their important benefits. 

In order to increase your healthy fat daily intake, consider adding avocado and nuts to a salad or use coconut oil as the base of a stir-fry. Swap out heavy meats for salmon or tuna and snack on seeds instead of chips or pretzels.

In terms of how much “healthy fat” you should eat, Medline Plus recommends keeping total fat consumption (including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) to no more than 25 percent  to 30 percent of one’s daily calories. And since healthy fats also keep you full, when you include them in your diet, you don’t have the urge to snack unnecessarily.

Make a return to natural fat. With a few easy changes in your diet, you will be on the road to better health overall. Your heart, brain, cells, and your blood sugar will also thank you. It’s not just a fad!

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JACKIE SCHINDLER, CONTIRBUTOR
Jackie Schindler teaches EFL to students between the ages of 5-15. She is passionate about making English relevant, fun and memorable. She always tries to look on the bright side in every situation. She is an avid reader, writer, traveler and always on the hunt for the best iced coffee.