High-fat foods are not something to be always worried about. Some amount of fat in the diet is always needed by the body to improve the function of hormones, memory, and the absorption of essential nutrients. Healthy fats offer a sensation of fullness, slow carbohydrate digestion, and enhance the flavour of the meals. The healthiest fats are mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats that has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
How do you distinguish between good fats and bad fats?
- Unsaturated fats
Unsaturated fats are found in avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon and vegetable oils like olive, canola, mustard and sesame oil. They also include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Therefore, they are the healthiest of all other fats and are called good fats as they protect people from diseases and are good for the heart.
- Saturated fats
Butter, cheese, milk chocolates and bakery items contain highly saturated fats. Animal fat , ghee, coconut and palm oil also contain saturated fats. Too much saturated fats in the diet are bad for the heart and can put youngsters at the risk of having serious health problems later in life. In a child’s diet, attempt to substitute saturated fats with unsaturated fats as much as possible, and always try to limit the amount of fat in the diet that comes from unhealthy fats and oils.
- Trans fats
Trans fats are found in foods such as cookies, cakes and deep-fried items like puris and vadas. It is always important to look for the terms “hydrogenated fats” or “partially hydrogenated fats” in the food ingredients list to check for trans fats in ready-to-eat meals bought from outside as trans fats are bad for one’s body.
How to choose the right healthy fat?
- Liquid vegetable oils for cooking and baking
Unsaturated fats are abundant in olive, canola, and other plant-based oils. Use an olive oil-based vinaigrette to season a salad or roasted vegetables.
- Avoid trans fat
Read the labels to locate items free of trans fats, and check the ingredient list to see whether there are any partially hydrogenated oils.
- Consume one good source of omega-3 fatty acid every day
Omega-3 fatty acids, which human bodies cannot produce, are found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, walnuts, and canola oil. Consumption of such food is good for the body.
- Avoid heavy intake of red meat and dairy foods
Replace red meat that had a high content of saturated fats, with legumes, nuts, chicken, and fish whenever and wherever possible, and cut down on dairy portion sizes.
What are the benefits of good fats?
Because they are healthy for the heart, cholesterol, and overall health, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are referred to as “good fats.” These fats can aid in the following:
- Lower the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Lower the cholesterol levels and increase good HDL
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent atherosclerosis
Increasing the intake of these healthy fats may also help you to feel more content after a meal, thereby reducing cravings and supporting weight reduction.
What are the high-fat foods that offer great health benefits?
Below are foods that offer great health benefits:
Avocados are roughly 80% fat by calories, making them significantly high in fat content. But the fat is what is called good fat. The cholesterol profiles are improved with the consumption of one avocado every day for five weeks. They’re also high in fibre, which has various digestive, cardiovascular, and weight-loss benefits.
Cheese is high in calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and a variety of other nutrients.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a highly nutritious food and is a delicious snack. It has a high-fat content, with fat accounting for around 65 per cent of total calories.
Whole eggs were believed to be unhealthy due to the high cholesterol and fat content of the yolks. However, eggs are also extremely rich in nutrients, providing a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
- Fatty fish
Fatty fish is typically recognized as one of the most nutrient-dense sources of animal protein. Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring are examples of this. These fishes are high in omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality proteins, and a range of minerals and vitamins, all of which are good for your heart.
Nuts are quite nutritious. They’re abundant in fibre and healthful fats, and they’re a good plant-based protein source. Nuts are also high in magnesium and have vitamin E.
- Chia seeds
Chia seeds aren’t typically thought of as “fatty” food, yet one ounce (28 grammes) of them contains 11 grammes of fat. They’re also extremely rich in nutrition. Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and other minerals.
- Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is another fatty food that is healthy. It contains many oleic acids, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Full fat yoghurt
Full-fat yoghurt is nutrient-dense. It has many nutritious elements. It is packed with beneficial probiotics that can significantly impact gut health.
Although high-fat diets were regarded as unhealthy, some fats do not pose the same risk to heart health as others. Despite their higher calorie content, the good fats mentioned above can readily be incorporated into a nutrient-dense, whole-food-based diet.