Fats. People normally associate this word with gaining weight, bad stuff for you, fat foods. Some people don’t know that fats can be good for you, protecting your cardiovascular system and promoting overall health.
There are “good fats” and “bad fats”, with the bad boys being most popular and responsible for the bad reputation. In fact, the good fats can decrease the desire of eating the harmful ones.
Believe it or not, fats are very important for human health, balancing the body’s chemistry and protecting vital organs. They are also a source of energy for the human body, helping with transportation and absorption of vitamins. Categories of fats are: saturated fats , unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids.
The essential fatty acids, also known as EFA’s, are vital nutritional components to our bodies. We cannot produce EFA ’s and must obtain them from food. Studies have showed that stress, allergies and a diet high in fried foods may increase the body’s nutritional need for essential fatty acids.
The EFA’s have two main forms: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 is normally found in fish oils and omega-6 generally comes from plant sources. Common sources for omegas are salmon oil, borage oil, black currant seed oil and flex seed oil.
Some foods have high levels of omegas 3 and 6, such as fish and shellfish, flaxseed, soy oil, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables and walnuts.
Don’t be afraid of fat, the good fat. Choosing the right fats for your body can be key for a well balanced and healthy diet.