- Bad fats can increase cholesterol levels
- Good fats are required for proper functioning of brain
- Fats are required to live an active lifestyle
If you have lived with the belief that you need to cut down fats to lose weight, then you have been extremely wrong! Fats are an important of your daily nutrient intake and cutting them off from your diet can result in nutritional deficiencies. There are some vitamins which are fat soluble: means that they can be assimilated by the body in the presence of some essential fats. Vitamins A, D, E and K are instances of fat soluble vitamins. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, shares a post on Instagram talking about the importance of fats for living healthy.
In her blog post (shared on Instagram) Nmami writes that carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macronutrients required by the body. It is the combination of these three that provide the body with optimum energy, strength and stamina.
Good fats and bad fats
The numerous misconceptions that exists regarding fats is probably because of the bad fats (as they are called). Nmami explains that bad fats are the ones which contribute to increase in cholesterol levels. These fats have the capability to clog arteries, increase blood pressure and risks of heart diseases and atherosclerosis. Saturated fats and trans fats are bad fats. Foods like palm oil, cream, butter, cheese and full fat milk contain bad fats.
Coming over to the good fats, they are the ones which come in unsaturated form. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are the two kinds of good fats. Omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids come under the PUFA category. Foods like avocado, walnuts, legumes, soy, flaxseeds and olive oil are all considered as good fats.
Benefits of including fats in your diet:
1. Absorption of vitamins: As mentioned above, the body needs fats for absorption of fat soluble vitamins - Vitamin A, D, E and K. Vitamin A is important for eye health. It helps in keeping the skin moisturised and promotes faster healing. Vitamin D is required for bone health and absorption of calcium. Vitamin E is a antioxidant important for skin and hair health. Vitamin K too is needed for bone health, and also for proper healing of wounds.
2. Fats provide you energy: Optimum amount of fats are needed by the body to live an active lifestyle and perform physical activity efficiently.
3. Fats regulate body temperature: Fat cells are stored within adipose tissues. These are responsible for providing the body with insulation. They help in maintaining body temperature. Moreover, fats protect vital organs of the body from external injury or trauma.
4. Fats protect nerve tissues: Fatty acids facilitate growth of nerve cells or neurons in the body. Lack of essential fatty acids can increase risks of multiple sclerosis, informs Nmami.
5. Fats are important for brain health: 60% of your brain is made up of fat. Fatty acids like omega 3 fatty acids are required by the body for proper functioning of the brain and memory retention. Intake of the right kind of fat is important for your health and overall wellbeing.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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