The truth is...fat doesn't have to be bad for us. In fact, there is such a thing as "good fat" - healthy fats that help us digest our food, provide a huge source of energy, absorb fat soluble vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K, protect our vital organs and even help burn bad fat.
As you may already know, avocado is one of those good fats. The new king of the [good] fat castle. Avocados are a great source of good fat because they contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are great for heart health – improving blood lipids, and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.
So, What are monounsaturated fats?
Monounsaturated fats can be found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, which decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also suggests that these fatty acids may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have Type 2 Diabetes.
And What about polyunsaturated fats?
Polyunsaturated fats are the important ones when it comes to the digestion of fats, which is why they are called Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs for short. Polyunsaturated fats cannot be made by our bodies, which means we have to get them from plant based foods and oils, as they are essential for many of our functions. Evidence shows that eating a diet rich in polyunsaturated fats may also decrease your risk of heart disease and help with Type 2 Diabetes.
Polyunsaturated EFAs are split into two groups: Omega 6 and Omega 3
Omega 6 fats are needed for cell structure and to help control blood flow and inflammation. Studies suggest we need about 4g per day. You can find Omega 6 fats in foods such as:
- Sesame Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Spinach & Cabbage
- Almonds, Cashews & Hazelnuts
- Olive Oil
Omega 3 fats are needed for development of the brain and retina in the eye. They also help reduce inflammation and have been show to help with conditions such as heart disease and arthritis. Studies suggest we need 2g per day. You can find Omega 3 fats in foods such as:
- Chia seeds
Omega 3 fats are the preferred source of fat consumption. Omega 6 fats can often be industrialized seed oils that cause inflammation.
Did you know that healthy fats are great for a variety of reasons? Lucky for you, we've put together 5 reasons we think you should eat more of the right kinds of fat.
1. Stronger Bones
Truth be told, you actually need fat to build stronger bones. Fat is required for calcium to be effectively absorbed by the bone - because bone building vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble - meaning that they rely on fats to be transported within the body.
2. OPTIMAL Digestive Health
Healthy fats are needed for optimal digestion and for overall health. Fat helps the body produce bile - working diligently with the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas, which is critical for a healthy functioning digestive system. Bile, derived from the bodies consumption of healthy fats, keeps our digestive tract happy by helping with elimination and proper digestion. Equally as important, healthy fats also help your body absorb the nutrients you're consuming from vegetables and greens, like Vitamin A, D, E and K. As I've mentioned, these vitamins are fat soluble, which means you have to eat fat for them to be absorbed and metabolized. All of those fresh veggies and greens in your GO Box NEED a helping hand from the good fats - which is why we like to include healthy oils in our farm made dressings.
3. Healthy Lungs
For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant and potentially causes breathing difficulties.
4. Healthy Brain
Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Plus consuming omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids from oily fish, grass-fed beef and certain nuts and seeds supports memory and is critical for overall brain function.
5. Nerve Protection
Certain fats, particularly those found in coconut oil and oily fish are necessary for proper nerve function and protection. These nerves influence everything in the body from metabolism and muscle movement to the appropriate release of insulin.
There are so many more reasons to eat healthy fats daily, but as you can see with just these 5, consuming a healthy diet that includes a range of fats is important for so many critical bodily functions. If you haven't already, give our GO Boxes a try and see for yourself.