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A Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Fats for Optimal Health

MuscleMecca Crew

MuscleMecca Crew

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People love incorporating fats into their meals because it adds flavor and satisfaction. However, when we hear the word "fats," we tend to avoid them as they are known to contribute to cardiovascular diseases. But there are healthy fats that we should also include in our meals occasionally.
Healthy fats are those classified as unsaturated fats. They come from vegetable oils, nuts, and different fishes. These usually come in the form of omega-3 or omega-6. Compared to trans fats, they don't increase the risk of having diseases, even when consumed in large amounts.
Many people add healthy fats to their diets because of its many benefits. It can keep us feeling full and satisfied most of the time, which can lessen our cravings. Although these are beneficial, it is still best to consume healthy fats appropriately.



How Healthy Fats Work in The Body​

A healthy and balanced diet is not complete without traces of fats. It may come in different sources, but dieticians recommend having a portion in our meals.
When our bodies absorb the fats we consume, it protects our organs and digests different vitamins essential for brain function, cells, skin, hair, and other body parts. It helps release the reserved energy in our bodies, which can help if we don't have enough nutrients.
The healthy fats in your body can benefit your heart's health, cholesterol, and blood sugar control and may reduce inflammation. If you consume enough healthy fats, it can improve your overall well-being and immune function.
Additionally, healthy fats support your fullness. Omega-3 lowers your insulin levels to prevent you from feeling hungry.

Examples of Specific Foods High in Healthy Fats​

Nuts and Seeds​

There are different ways you can incorporate nuts into your diet. You can add them as an enhancer to a vegetable-based meal, roast them for a snack, or add them to your smoothie to create a new taste.
As an adult, you can consume a single serving of 30-gram nuts at least two days a week. The best nuts to add are almonds, cashews, macadamias, pecans, and pistachios.
Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are just some seeds that contain reasonable amounts of omega-3 fats. Along with other nutrients, they include several essential antioxidants that can benefit your overall health. If you want additional sources of healthy fats, you can blend chia seeds into your smoothies. You may also include flax seeds in your meals.

Fishes​

Fish is the ultimate source if you need healthy fats for your diet. Consuming at least twice a week is recommended to benefit your cardiovascular health fully. However, not all fish contain high amounts of omega-3. The best ones to consume are salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and cod. You may cook them in different ways, depending on your preference.
Aside from omega-3, these fatty fish also contain high amounts of protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B-12. Including them in a balanced diet can protect your heart from the adverse effects of mental stress, delay the development of arthritis, and even provide positive results to your child if you are pregnant.
Though it provides many benefits, not all people can consume fatty fish. People with chronic illnesses like kidney disease are not allowed to eat them because it may increase their risk of inflammation.
It would help if you carefully choose the fish you eat. Some of them may have high traces of pollutants. You can consume them but in moderation.

Dairy​

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are known to have saturated fat. Despite this, you can still consume them daily in a moderate amount. Both low-fat and full-fat options can be good for your cardiovascular health. As long as you balance the two, you can get the maximum benefits of healthy fats from dairy.
These foods are more than just calcium. Many dairy products have good potassium levels, phosphate, and other nutrients that may reduce cholesterol levels.
However, only a few dairy products suit your dietary needs. People who have high cholesterol levels should only have low-fat dairy products. Pure dairy without sugar or butter content can provide a good amount of healthy fats.
When you include dairy products on your grocery list, check their production process and other ingredients to ensure that the right amount of healthy fats and other nutrients will benefit your health.

Eggs​

Many people avoid eggs because of their fat and cholesterol content. They think this way because a large egg may have 5 grams of fat in a single consumption. However, not all fats found in eggs are unhealthy. Eggs' fat content may be a good help in reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes and keeping your cholesterol levels in a normal range.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Aside from healthy fats, it is also packed with other essential nutrients such as vitamin B-complex and vitamin D. Even with the fat content, eggs may also help reduce weight. No wonder many people eat hard-boiled eggs replacing other foods in their daily meals.
The healthy fat found in eggs is omega-3. It is an essential nutrient for good cardiovascular health. Its omega-3 content may also play an important role in how your brain functions or protects your eyes.
Omega-3 in eggs is found in the yolk. It is combined with protein, which makes it an excellent addition to your diet. It may only come as "bad fats" if you consume too much of it and if it is fried.

Benefits of Incorporating Healthy Fats Into The Diet​

A moderate amount of healthy fats can aid in nutritional body composition. If you aim to shed some weight, a sufficient amount of monosaturated fats is a suitable replacement for people who find it hard to have an HCLF diet. Healthy fats can also make you feel full, which is a great help for someone who wants to lose weight.
As long as you don't consume too much omega-3 from fatty fish may help regulate your cholesterol levels, which can be a good factor in keeping your heart healthy. Replacing the bad fats you eat can also be beneficial if you have diabetes. It improves insulin sensitivity and maintains your blood sugar levels normal.
The other benefits that we tend to overlook are how it can improve our skin and sleep. Because healthy fats benefit the brain, they can reduce sleep disturbances. No wonder some athletes consume eggs or nuts before heading out to bed.
You can benefit from healthy fats if you consume the appropriate amount your dietician advises.

How Healthy Fats Can Prevent Chronic Diseases​

Its help in regulating cholesterol levels helps reduce the risks of chronic diseases. High cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease. Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Healthy fats can balance the levels of omega-6 fats, one of the highest contributors to inflammation. These fats can help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer. It may also contribute to keeping your liver health in good condition.

Tips for Incorporating Healthy Fats Into The Diet​

If you want healthy fats in your food but still want to control how much you consume, you can eat them only as a snack, especially different kinds of nuts. You can create a meal plan of a few grams of other nuts or prepare a mixed version of almonds, pistachio, and cashew that you can consume even if you are on the go.
As for fish, you can try different cooking methods as long as you don't include additional sources of fats. You can grill, boil, or bake them for different tastes. However, make sure to check the safety of the fish you consume. Some of them may contain high levels of contaminants. It may harm your body if you overeat it.

The Bottomline​

Incorporating healthy fats into your diet can help protect against chronic diseases in various ways. Consuming too much fat can lead to weight gain and other health issues, so it's essential to maintain a balanced diet. It is important to remember that all fats, even healthy fats, should be consumed in moderation.
 
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