People hear the word fat and they run screaming for the hills. For years upon years we were led to believe that fat was the devil incarnate and that all fat, no matter where it came from was unhealthy, bad for us, and caused us to gain weight. In reality however, fat is an essential macronutrient that is not only beneficial for our bodies, it is actually vital for our bodies as without it we simply would not function. The truth is that there are various types of fat, which can be summed up as “good fats” and “bad fats”. Bad fats are saturated fats and trans fats and are the fats which are found in greasy fatty foods that can increase LDL cholesterol levels within the body which can then cause fatty deposits to block the arteries, calcify, and lead to hypertension, heart disease, renal failure, strokes, and heart attacks. Good fats however, are mono and poly-unsaturated fats as these have numerous health benefits for the body and can actually help contribute towards weight loss. Yes, you did read that right, as bizarre as it may sound, studies have found that ample amounts of healthy fats each day can actually increase and improve weight loss, as well as provide countless other health benefits too. Here’s a look at 6 foods rich in healthy fats.
Avocados actually got the nickname “butter pears” due to the fact that their rich and creamy consistency is similar to butter and is incredibly rich and delicious. Avocados are rich in calories, but what makes them so beneficial is the fact that the fat they contain is monounsaturated fat, which is extremely heart healthy. This fat helps to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels and helps to boost HDL cholesterol levels, which keeps LDL cholesterol levels low and helps promote heart health. The fats contained within avocados have also been found to help contribute towards weight loss as they help to boost the metabolism. Remember, they are still high in calories so make sure you consume them in moderation as too much will lead to weight gain. Used in moderation however, they not only taste great but are also incredibly healthy and beneficial.
Pine nuts are commonly associated with green pesto though they also taste amazing when lightly toasted and then added to salads, meat and fish dishes, stir fries, and anything else for that matter. One ounces of pine nuts contains 5g of monounsaturated fat, which as mentioned previously, helps to lower harmful LDL cholesterol, helping to protect against heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blocked arteries, and much more besides. These nuts are also a great source of the mineral Iron, which helps with haemoglobin production within the blood. Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, pine nuts also contain pinolenic acid, which has been found to suppress the appetite, making them very useful for people looking to lose weight or maintain their weight by watching their caloric intake.
Natural peanut butter
Not only does natural peanut butter taste absolutely amazing, it is also very healthy and beneficial for our bodies in a number of ways. One of the main benefits is the fact that it is a great source of protein, which helps promote lean muscle mass and cellular health. It is also rich in heart-healthy fats and dietary fiber which helps reduce LDL cholesterol and helps to suppress the appetite and promote healthy digestion and the absorption of food.
Flaxseed oil is ideal because it is a great source of soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats. Flaxseed oil is incredibly beneficial as it has been found to possess anti-cancer ingredients and those which help to boost and improve the immune system, which can help to protect against numerous diseases and ailments. Oil from flaxseeds is ideal because it can be added to dressings, to dishes, or even to shakes and smoothies to boost the nutrient content. Always look for cold-pressed varieties of flaxseed oils and store them in refrigerators and out of direct sunlight as the oil can go off pretty quickly, especially when exposed to direct sunlight and high temperatures.
Many people don’t actually consider sesame seeds as a cooking ingredient due to their naturally small size and because of this, sesame seeds are often overlooked in terms of taste, texture, and health properties. In reality, these tiny seeds, which are a staple part of Asian cuisine, are packed full of taste, texture, and health benefits. One ounces provides 3 g of heart healthy fats, but as well as that, it will also provide a whopping 33% of your daily calcium requirements, making them great for the teeth and bones as well. They’re also rich in two separate types of dietary fiber: Sesamin, and sesamolin, which can help to further lower harmful cholesterol levels. On top of this, they help to boost fertility, the libido, and immunity as they’re naturally rich in Zinc.
When purchasing salmon, if possible, always go with wild salmon as it stands head and shoulders above farmed salmon in terms of taste and health properties. As well as being a great source of vitamins, minerals, and protein, salmon is also a great source of healthy fats, due largely to its naturally high omega 3 fatty acid content. Omega 3 fatty acids are incredibly healthy for the heart, the brain, the eyes, the skin, the metabolism, the major organs, the bones and joints and much more besides. EFA’s are hugely beneficial and as salmon is such a great source of them, it’s no wonder why salmon is considered one of the healthiest fishes on the planet.