A lot of people are under the impression that eating fat is not healthy for the body. It’s understandable why this has become a common thought. Media and health experts around us have often told us that fats will clog your arteries, leading to health conditions.
While that is true, it does not mean that you should stop eating fats at all. Instead, you should eat fats in moderation since eating fats in excess will just be stored as fat tissue.
But eating fats in moderation doesn’t mean eating them only once or twice a week, and surely eating fat all day isn’t allowed either. The key here is eating the right type of fat.
When eating fats, you have to choose unsaturated ones which are less harmful than saturated ones. Unsaturated fats can be found in nuts, olive oil, avocado, and others while saturated ones come from animal products such as meat and dairy products.
So if you want to eat more healthily without adding any extra calories to your body, try eating unsaturated fats instead of eating food loaded with saturated fats.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how much fat you should be eating. Plus, we’ll discuss why eating fat keeps you healthy and why you need to make it a part of your daily diet.
Can You Eat Fat To Lose Weight?
If you want to lose weight, eating the right kind of fat is a surefire way to boost your metabolism while keeping you feeling full throughout the day. Studies have shown that eating too many carbohydrates will lead the body to store fat and eating too much protein leads to excess muscle, not fat.
Even eating a small amount of dietary fat is enough to increase your metabolism, making it easier for you to burn more calories throughout the day. This is why eating fats in moderation is effective in helping you lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.
While eating fats can help promote weight loss by boosting metabolism, eating too much of it will just cause health issues such as clogged arteries or heart diseases.
That’s because eating excess fats would be easily stored in the adipose tissues located around your vital organs where it deposits itself as fat cells. Thus, if you wish to live a healthy life, eating fats in moderation is the way to go.
What are Good Fats?
You must have heard the term ‘good fats’ but have you ever wondered what they are and why you need them?
Good fats are unsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats which can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, avocado, olives, etc. These types of fats have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease to a great extent.
Good Fats vs Bad Fats: Unsaturated, Mono-unsaturated, and Polyunsaturated
Monounsaturated fatty acids are those that have one double bond on the carbon chain containing 18 carbons.
They include oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, linoleic acid, etc. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are characterized by having two or more two double bonds on their carbon chains. Examples of such fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, etc.
Fatty acids with one double bond on their carbon chains are known as monounsaturated oils. Those that have two or more two double bonds on their carbon chains are referred to as Polyunsaturated fats and oils.
Both these groups of lipids can be arranged in a similar fashion at the same time with saturated fats and different from one another in the following ways:
- The presence of carbon double bonds in polyunsaturated fats and oils increases their reactivity toward oxidative attack compared with saturated fats.
- Among the polyunsaturated fatty acids, linolenic acid and arachidonic acid are more prone to oxidation than the others.
- The type of unsaturation that occurs in the substrate determines whether or not lipid peroxidation will occur.
The only good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are found mainly in vegetable oils such as olive oil or sunflower oil, these types of healthy fats help to lower cholesterol levels and stimulate blood vessel function as well as improve skin and hair texture.
They have been known to reduce inflammation within cells so eating foods packed with them would be very beneficial on a day-to-day basis.
However, eating large amounts of them doesn’t always mean eating healthy. Too much fat can also tend to make you put on weight which most people really don’t want.
What are Trans Fats?
Trans fats are considered bad fats since they are the worst type of fats and eating them can increase your cholesterol level and clog your arteries, raise blood pressure, increase insulin resistance (leading to diabetes), cause inflammation, or even contribute to cancer.
One way to avoid eating unhealthy trans fats is by eating more natural foods since these do not contain any of those trans fats.
Similarly, saturated fats are also bad for the body since eating saturated fats can cause a rise in cholesterol levels. Foods that contain saturated fats include meat, dairy products, and tropical oils like coconut and palm oils.
Saturated and Trans Fats are Harmful to Health
The problem with eating food containing saturated or trans fats is that eating these will increase the risk of many diseases related to heart disease, especially stroke, as well as reduce insulin sensitivity (due to eating high amounts of sugar).
Eating unhealthy fats can also raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while at the same time lowering good HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. The result could be a higher risk of developing certain health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or even diabetes.
In other words, eating foods loaded with fat means eating food that is in fact bad for the healthy of an individual.
Benefits of Eating Fats
Many people do not know this but fats are beneficial for the body. Here are some of the benefits of eating fats:
- They help the body absorb minerals and vitamins. This is true, especially when eating foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins E, A, and K.
- They give your skin a healthy glow. Fats contain essential fatty acids which are vital for overall good health.
- You will have more energy if you eat fats regularly.
- Lack of dietary fats can lead to ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children.
- Fats may reverse aging. A study by researchers at the University of California showed that eating coconut oil leads to the production of lauric acid, which can reverse skin aging.
- You will experience more filling when eating fats. Eating fatty foods such as avocado and nuts is more satisfying than eating cakes and cookies.
- Fats are important for your mood. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety feel better after eating fatty foods because they boost serotonin levels in the brain, thereby making you feel calm and relaxed.
How Much Fat Should You Eat?
If you want to stay healthy, you should not be eating too much or too little fat. Creating a balance in fat consumption is the way to go. So, how much fat should you eat?
On average, you should eat at least 25-30 grams of fat a day. You will find on the back of food packages how much fat is in each product so you can easily measure if you’re eating too little or too much.
You also need to make sure you are eating good fats rather than bad ones since eating too much bad fat can cause you to gain weight and eating too little good fats can cause you to lose weight.
How To Detect Good Fats From Bad Fats?
Not all fats are created equal, so knowing the difference between them is essential in getting a healthy balance of eating good fats as well as eating bad fats in your diet.
Eating unhealthy, trans-fatty acids or saturated fat can lead to coronary heart disease. You’ll want to avoid eating saturated and trans-fats at all costs because they don’t do your body any good.
The best thing you can do for yourself is read the nutritional labels on foods that have these unhealthy types of fat and avoid eating them. However, if you need help determining which fats are good for your body, you can also consult with your healthcare provider.
To sum up, it can be said that fats are required for our bodies. A lot of fat diets say that you should cut out healthy fat completely from your diet and that is not eating at all good for your body.
Instead, you should include a healthy amount of fat in your daily diet to make sure you are not missing out on this important nutrient. In this guide, we discussed why eating fat keeps you healthy.
Now, you have enough knowledge to educate your family and friends about the importance of fats in your daily diet. Hopefully, you would have found this information helpful.
The good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, are known for being beneficial to your heart, cholesterol, and general health. Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke with the aid of these lipids. lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol while raising levels of good HDL.
Food groups like milk, meat, and oils are particularly rich sources of fat, among others. Additionally, it is present in a lot of baked goods, fried dishes, and prepared foods. A significant source of energy, fat also aids in vitamin absorption. Additionally, it is crucial for healthy development and ongoing well-being.
Saturated fat is present in even seemingly healthy foods like chicken and almonds, albeit in considerably smaller proportions than those beef, cheese, and ice cream. Although plant foods like coconut, coconut oil, and palm oil are high in saturated fats, saturated fats are mostly found in animals.