Fat nowadays is viewed as an annoying villain. We associate fat with excess weight and obesity. Most of us do not want to store fat, and therefore we feel like we should stop eating it. Not so fast! There are fats that are not just good for health, but can also help to lower cholesterol, and – attention please! – To part with the old fat. Let’s look at which foods contain the good or “magic” fat.
Scientists have proved that the “right” fat – mainly, unsaturated fatty acids – help break even “hardened” fat. The most generous sources of unsaturated fat – avocados, olive oil, some varieties of fish and meat, as well as nuts.
The Good And The Bad Fat
Growth, development and protection of the internal organs, support and flexibility of cell membranes, aid in digestion of food are all the tasks that a healthy fat can do.
It is recommended that 30% of a healthy everyday diet should consist of fats. But let’s not run to order fries just yet. Not all fats are created equal. There two very different kinds of fats: saturated and unsaturated fats and they play a completely different role in your body.
Saturated fats or fats containing saturated fatty acids remain solid at room temperature. They are called saturated because of their chemical structure, hydrogen atoms, which tightly bind each other in the carbon chain acid molecule. To melt a product containing high amounts of saturated fatty acids, you must properly heat it. Accordingly, the body has difficulty processing fatty acids – inside a person, of course, is warm, but not frying pan on the stove kind of warm. Saturated fatty acids are rich solid fats: lard, butter, canola oil etc.
It would be wrong to say they are one hundred percent bad – fats contain fat-soluble vitamins and vitamin-like substances, but if you want to include it into your diet it should be added in very small quantities as saturated fats encourage the growth of the “bad” cholesterol.). These fats are responsible for many cardiovascular diseases.
Unsaturated fats are divided into fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Their chemical structure is more complicated than rich, but the body does not care about the formulas. Unsaturated fats are digested easier. The polyunsaturated fatty acids have almost no hydrogen, so they are liquid, but monounsaturated fats have slightly higher hydrogen levels and therefore these fats thicken upon cooling (easily seen by the example of the effect of olive oil left in the refrigerator).
Saturated fatty acids are found predominantly in animal products, meat and milk. However, in plant foods they can be found in the oils: coconut, palm, shea butter. When choosing a product containing harmful fats in large quantities, pay attention to its source: the beef farmer should be preferred over ice cream of the fast food chains. We get monounsaturated fatty acids from some types of vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives. Polyunsaturated found in most vegetable oils, but also in fish and other seafood. These products should be mandatory in order to have a healthy nutrition program.
The War On Fat
The main secrets of unsaturated fatty acids is that they not only provide the body with “good” cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), they also permanently reduce the level of harmful LDL. That is, if you eat something that contains saturated fats, it must contain some of the unsaturated fats, and then a “good” fat fends off the “bad” one!
The research, published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” confirmed “quality” fatty acids spur the metabolism, with their help food is digested better and digested fully. With the right amount of fat the body ceases to concentrate on building its reserves. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine notes:
“Healthy unsaturated fat activates a special protein PPAR-alpha, burning the existing fat in the subcutaneous areas of the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and prevents the accumulation of liver fat.”
There is one more amazing property of the healthy fat. Studies have shown that unsaturated fatty acids have the ability to stabilize blood sugar levels: this means that when you are insured against sudden outbreaks of sluggishness which are often followed by the consumption of fast food and sweets. Researchers at the University of Pamplona in Spain compared how people feel after they have enjoyed lunch high and low content of unsaturated fatty acids with an equal caloric value. It turned out that two hours after lunch unsaturated fats felt quite comfortable, while their friends who had lunch without essential fatty acids were already hungry.
The Must Eat Fats
- 3 oz. of PORK has 2 grams of healthy fat. Contrary to popular believe pork is not evil. Studies have shown that regular but moderate consumption of lean pork has beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Steamed pork is a great source of monounsaturated fat, potassium and iron. Some nutritionists believe that pork is more beneficial than white chicken.
- 1 oz. of PISTACHIOS has 2 grams of healthy fat, 10 grams of walnuts – 0.7g good fat, 10 g of almond has 3 grams of healthy fat, 10 grams of pine nuts – 1.5 grams of desired fat, hazelnuts 10 grams of the beneficial fat. Nuts are a great food in the prevention of heart failure and stroke. Hazelnut is rich in copper and manganese, important for the absorption of iron and the formation of strong bones, pistachios successfully reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (“bad cholesterol”) levels, walnuts are famous for the fact that they supply us with iodine and phosphorus and almonds can also boost a truly unrivaled number of Vitamin E, known as the elixir of health and youth.
- 10 ml of OLIVE OIL – 9 g useful fat, 10 ml of LINSEED OIL – 3 g healthy fat. All the beneficial properties are best cold pressed olive and flaxseed oil. And if the beneficial properties and taste of olive we are already familiar with, linseed oil in the kitchen is still perceived as something new. It has a pleasant nutty flavor, which makes flaxseed oil welcome in any salad, and as part of a soup or sauce for pasta. Flaxseed oil has anti-cancer effect. Buying it, you should pay attention to the light and warmth, it can quickly become rancid, store in the refrigerator!
- 10 g of DARK CHOCOLATE – 1.2 g useful fat. Natural dark chocolate is the best, because of the cocoa butter content (make sure it is no less than 70%). More cocoa usually means less sugar. Flavonoids contained in the dark chocolate improves the permeability of the walls of blood vessels and contribute to the development of nitric oxide in the blood, allowing the blood vessels to run better. Also, dark chocolate is known for its unmatched ability to lift the mood. This fact has a scientific explanation: dark chocolate stimulates production of the hormone called serotonin. To make the most of the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate, eat it with fresh berries or green tea.
- 1 Tbsp. of PEANUT BUTTER contains 9 g of useful fat. Peanut butter is high in calories, so when eating it moderation is key, no more than 2 teaspoons per day. However, due to the obvious sweet and salty nut taste even a small “bar” of peanut butter improves the dish and helps prevent heart disease and type II diabetes. To get the maximum benefit, choose organic peanut butter with no added salt, sugar or corn syrup, and smear a thin layer on crunchy apple slices or celery sticks.
- 4 oz. of LAMB MEAT – 4 grams useful fat. Lamb not only contains monounsaturated fat, but an indispensable and valuable alpha-linolenic acid, lack of which causes such symptoms as muscle weakness, and frequent change of mood, which is often confused with fatigue. Lean sirloin or leg of lamb, baked in the oven or on the grill or an ingredient in the soup is a great source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and selenium. All of these substances are essential to women not only for health but also for the health and beauty of skin and hair.
- 4 oz. of AVOCADO contains 1.2 grams useful fat. 75% of the fat contained in the fruit consists of the useful mono and polyunsaturated triglycerides. In addition, avocados have nearly three dozen vitamins, minerals and vitamin-like compounds in their composition (among them – folic acid, vitamin E, lutein). Like any source of polyunsaturated fats, avocados should be eaten raw, unprocessed. Avocados are literally are good with absolutely anything: soups, salad, side or main dishes, can also be used as a snack or even as a dessert.
These are foods that are clean, healthy, contain high amounts of healthy fats and should be incorporated into every day diet. Be creative and you will see how simple food can make your everyday dishes taste amazing. There are many healthy, great tasting recipes that can be found with a simple search via web search engines, Instagram or Pinterest.