Along with carbohydrates and protein, fat is a macronutrient that the body needs for optimum level of functioning. Fats are vital to man’s health, as they help in the production of energy, formation of cells, transport of oxygen, clotting of blood, and generation of active hormone-resembling substances called prostaglandins, which are essential in physiologic processes such as inflammation, pain, and fever.
Some fats are healthy, such as the unsaturated fats that can be obtained from plants. On the other hand, some fats are unhealthy if consumed in excess, such as the saturated fats from animal food sources. When they stick in the blood vessels, bad fats contribute to the development of deadly medical conditions like atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus.
According to Nutrilite, people need fats in their diet, as these as essential to the body’s physiologic function. As per the publication, health adults should consume 30 percent or less of their total calories should be from fat-rich food sources. Also, ten percent of the said 30 percent should be derived from saturated fat food selections.
In line with fats and its functions in the body, the following are the best food choices that contain healthy fats.
Fish, olive oil, and who eggs are some of the best food selections that contain healthy fats, according to Authority Nutrition.
Fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and trout are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to the overall health of the heart and the blood vessels. These fish species also contain high quality proteins, which contribute to the growth and repair of cells and tissues. The publication added that in a study, results revealed that people who consumed fish had reduced risk of having heart disease, dementia, and depression, among others; thus, they tend to be much healthier that those who did not eat fish.
Olive oil contain fat, which is a vital part of the Mediterranean diet. As per the publication, extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, which serves as antioxidant and coagulation factor, respectively. In addition, olive oil is packed with potent antioxidants that help combat inflammation and aid protect the low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in the blood from being oxidized. In research, olive oil has also proved itself in decreasing high blood pressure and enhancing cholesterol markers; thus, it also contributes to overall cardiovascular health.
While eggs are viewed as great protein sources, they are also packed with healthy fats. As per the publication, one egg has 212 mg of cholesterol, which stands as 71 percent of the recommended daily intake. In addition, 62 percent of the calories in who eggs come from fat. While whole eggs were viewed as unhealthy due to high cholesterol and fat content, new studies have revealed that the cholesterol in eggs has no impact to the cholesterol in the blood. Aside from healthy fats, eggs also contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and choline, a nutrient that contributes to brain function.
Almonds, avocado, and dark chocolates are also excellent sources of healthy fats, according to Shape.
As per the publication, an ounce of almonds, which is equal to about one-fourth cup or 23 nuts, has about 160 calories, six grams of protein, and 14 grams of unsaturated fat. These nuts also provide the body generous amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E, along with dietary fiber and minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Almonds also contain the phytochemicls quercentin and kaempferol, which help avoid cancer and reduce the risk of having heart diseases.
Called as the “fertility fruit” by the Aztecs, avocados are packed with more than 75 percent fat, which are good for the heart. In addition, the fruit, which has a Mexican origin, gives eight percent of a person’s recommended daily fiber intake, as well as multiple nutrients for every one ounce serving (equal to one-fifth of the fruit).
Unlike its non-dark counterpart, dark chocolates contain 150 calories and 9 grams of fat, which suggest that the body only needs an ounce of 60 to 70 percent dark chocolate in the diet. In addition, dark chocolates are also packed with vitamins A, B, and E, as well as minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium. The chocolate also contains a potent antioxidant called theobromine, which aid in the reduction of high blood pressure and inflammation.
Overall, fats are essential to the optimum level of functioning of the human body, just like carbohydrates and protein. Aside from functions like energy production, fats help in the regulation of various physiological processes in tissues and cells. While the nutrient is important to the body, the consumption should be in moderation so as to prevent the development of certain medical conditions.