As we’ve seen earlier, there has been a great myth around “low fat” for decades.
Of course, there are fats that are harmful, like saturated fats that raise cholesterol levels. But equally there are fats your body needs in order to function properly, and so specific healthy fats and oils are essential in our diets.
Eating the right kinds of fats actually helps to suppress hunger cravings, speed up the metabolism and assist with how well other nutrients can be absorbed in the gut.
Don’t forget that due to modern chemical and food technology processes, there are now products on the market that are totally unnatural. Trans-fats in margarine come to mind, and are to be avoided at all costs as they promote heart disease. You could be eating trans fats if you enjoy margarine, doughnuts, cookies, crisps or cakes. Check labels for anything that resembles “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil”.
Unsaturated Fats – Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats raise good HDL cholesterol, and lower bad LDL cholesterol. Studies also suggest they can help prevent the build up of belly fat.
You can get this monounsaturated goodness from olive oil (and olives!), almonds and other nuts like cashews and peanuts, and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats also lower your levels of bad LDL cholesterol, and also have wider health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids boost your brain function and can improve your immune system. Omega-6 fatty acids can contribute to keeping your skin and eyes healthy.
To make sure you’re getting enough omega-3, eat more fish like salmon, mackerel and herring. Flaxseed, walnuts and tofu are other great sources. Omega-6 can be consumed by eating corn and farmed fish.