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Healthy fats

In this article we will talk about healthy fats, what they are and why they are important to us. Healthy fats play a key role for our body, they are necessary for the normal functioning

In this article we will talk about healthy fats, what they are and why they are important to us.

Healthy fats play a key role for our body, they are necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system as well as for sight, brain and heart. Some healthy fats are also considered essential, so we need to eat them from food.

What are fats?

The story of the nutrition around fats was quite simple: saturated fats were considered bad for our health, and unsaturated fats were considered good. But another dimension is added to the story – getting the right balance of two types of polyunsaturated fats – in particular; omega-3 and omega-6.

There are several types of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that we consume, so some of these fatty acids are considered “essential” because our body can not produce them at all, or produce them in very limited quantities. Therefore, dietary intake is the main source of these fats in the human body.

Why are fats important?

Incorporating healthy fats into your daily diet leads to a healthy diet. Fish, especially fatty fish, have the particular characteristic of being low in saturated fat in proportion to the concentration of polyunsaturated fats. It contains two important omega-3 fatty acids, called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These types of fats help maintain normal blood pressure (the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 g of EPA and DHA), normal brain function and normal vision (the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA ), normal heart function (the beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of EPA and DHA)

Why fats?

  • they are an additional reserve of energy
  • necessary for the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins (eg vitamins A, D, E, K)
  • thermally insulates and protects internal tissues and organs
  • important as taste enhancers in food preparation
Athletes, as well as very physically active people, are advised to consume a moderate amount of fat (about 30% of the daily caloric intake) to provide energy to the body and to ensure the proper consumption of essential fatty acids.
The problem is that our Western diet removes the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Compared to the amount of omega-6 we tend to lack omega-3.
Due to the eating style of our ancestors, who consumed omega-3 fatty acids from almost all foods, especially meat, fish, wild plants, nuts and berries, the human body has evolved to function well with such a diet and balance. of omega-3 and related omega-6.
In the last 150 years, our food supply and eating habits have changed so much that we can hardly achieve the right balance of omega fatty acids.

Saturated fats and trans fats

They are known as bad, unhealthy findings.

Saturated fats – are solid fats present mainly in products of animal origin such as red meat, dairy – milk, butter, cheese .. They are natural fats, but an increased intake of saturated fats in the diet, is recognized as one of the main causes of the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.

Trans fats – are fats of vegetable origin chemically treated, to be transformed from liquid to solid. Like saturated fats, the consumption of trans fats leads to increased levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, which are a risk factor for the occurrence of various cardiovascular diseases.

Healthy fats: Unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats

But not all fats are bad. Healthy fats are unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are present in vegetable oils, as well as in cold-pressed walnut oils, avocado, fatty ocean fish, or in nuts and seeds. These fats have a positive effect on our health because they reduce cholesterol levels and contribute to joint health. However, it is important to eat them in moderation, due to the high caloric value.

Sources of healthy fats

  1. OMEGA – 3
    • Omega-3 acids are found in fatty fish (eg salmon, mackerel, herring, trout) and some nuts and seeds (rapeseed oil, walnuts, soybeans, flax seeds and their oils).
      Walnuts and seeds are an excellent alternative to biscuits and crunchy snacks.
      Another easy way to add more omega-3 acids to your diet is to eat fatty fish twice a week instead of meat.
  2. OMEGA – 6
    • Products rich in omega-6 fatty acids include spreadable fats (eg butter), sunflower seeds, nuts, soybeans, wheat germ, sesame seeds, corn and their oils.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many sources, and omega-3 fatty acids are deficient in our diet. Modern agriculture, due to its focus on production, has reduced the content of omega-3 fatty acids in many foods: cultivated plants, animal meat, eggs and even fish. However, if you find it difficult to eat fish twice a week, a fish oil diet supplement can help you get the amount of omega-3 your body needs.

ulei de peste

OMEGA 3 benefits:

  • helps maintain normal blood pressure
  • helps maintain normal blood triglyceride levels
  • helps maintain normal vision
  • helps maintain normal brain function
  • contributes to the normal function of the heart

The idea is that you need to get moderate amounts of unsaturated fats, mostly from the right sources, and maintain a proper balance. It is not enough to stay away from fried foods and fatty foods, even if you will probably avoid most of the unhealthy fats, you will not get the necessary intake of healthy fats you need. You need to know that you will quickly add calories from fat, so try to include them in your diet in moderation and consider replacing foods high in saturated fat with those high in unsaturated fats. It is recommended that you get up to 30% of your daily calories from these unsaturated fats.

A healthy diet is not just about choosing the foods we eat, find out how you can cook healthy food so that you know how to get the optimal amount of nutrients.

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