- Fats are an indispensable part of our diet
- Unhealthy fats which include saturated and trans fat
- Monounsaturated fat can be found in a variety of foods
Fats are extremely important for human growth and development. We cannot survive without fats because it is an essential part of the human body. It helps in performing many physiological functions, like acting as a source of energy, assists with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K), and helps in maintaining healthy skin and cell membrane structure. Health expert Luke Coutinho in his recent Instagram post shared the importance of fats. According to the health expert Luke Coutinho, "Be aware of low fat sugar filled products. We need good healthy fats for great health and weight loss. The danger is refined carbs and refined fats. Foods like Nuts, eggs, fatty fish, grass fed antibiotic free meat, cold pressed or wood churned oils, pure butter , etc are all great for our over all health and well being and mood."
According to the Delhi based nutritionist, "Fats are an indispensable part of our diet. They provide essential fatty acids needed to form cell membranes, the components of the central nervous system, the retina of the eye and many more. Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that can't be synthesised in the human body n must be obtained from diet. These include linoleic and linolenic acids. These can be obtained from Nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and vegetable oils. Fats are also essential for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E from the diet. Completely cutting out fats from the diet can result in vitamin deficiencies. Fats are also required for the production of bile acids, hormones, lipoproteins etc. Fats also act as an insulator. It provides protection to organs by cushioning them. Used in the correct amount, fats enhance the flavour of our foods too. This a combination of different types of fats used in moderation is recommended."
Many people think fats as an onset to some medical problems like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. However, not all fats are bad for you. One needs to distinguish between the healthy fats and the unhealthy fats. Some fats are beneficial for your overall health and should not be eliminated from your diet. Let us first understand the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
Also read: Which Fats To Consume And Why
Unhealthy fats which include saturated and trans fat have been recognized as harmful for the heart. Foods which contain saturated and trans fats include butter, poultry skin, chicken products, certain types of cheese, beef or pork fat. Trans fats can also increase the risk for inflammation in the body. This inflammation can have a negative impact on your body like heart disease, diabetes, and heart stroke. These kinds of fats should be avoided altogether.
On the other hand, healthy fats; contain monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. These are considered heart friendly fats and can be included into your diet. Of course, moderating is the key even when you consume these fats. Monounsaturated fat can be found in a variety of foods like vegetable oils, olives, nuts and seeds and some fish. These fats can actually improve blood cholesterol levels and thereby decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Foods which contain monounsaturated fats include nuts, vegetable oils, peanut butter, almond butter and avocados.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
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