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All You Need to Know about Healthy Fats.

Updated on October 24, 2019
BodystrongBen profile image

I have a masters degree in sports science and around 10 years experience in personal training and sports research.

Aren't Fats Unhealthy?

As you know, fat is the root of all evil. Fats are responsible for heart disease. Fats can cause cancer. Fats block our arteries and cause heart attacks and fats were responsible for every major travesty that the world has ever seen. Except they aren’t. Decades ago, so-called health “experts” told us that all fats were unhealthy and dangerous, which is why low-fat alternatives such as margarine were invented and it’s why low calorie starvation diets are still, to this day, popular in the weight loss community. It turns out though, that these “experts” were wrong. We now know that we need to eat some fats, as certain fats are not only healthy, they’re essential for our health and well-being. What are healthy fats though? Why do we need them? Where are they found?

What Are Healthy Fats and Why Do We Need Them?

When people say that fat is bad for you, they are referring to unhealthy fats such as trans fats, which are commonly found in processed junk food. Not all fats are created equally, though. You see, there are some fats that are very good for us. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, as well as natural saturated fats like those found in coconut oil for example, are extremely good for us. Good fats, or healthy fats, provide countless health benefits and providing you monitor the amount you consume, eating them will help make you healthier than ever. Key benefits of good fats include:

  • Increase metabolism
  • More energy
  • Reduces harmful LDL cholesterol
  • Promotes optimal cognitive function
  • Assists with the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Increases good HDL cholesterol
  • Strengthens the immune system

Source

Can You Use Good Fats for Weight Loss and Bodybuilding?

As people are now beginning to realise the benefits of healthy fats in your diet, we also now know it can be key for weight loss. The Zone Diet and Keto Diet rely on fat content for full effectiveness. We now know that the body will effectively burn off body fat and lose weight when consuming the correct amount of fats, the balance of fats is key to this. Guideline daily amounts states less than 70 grams of fat per day and no more than 20 grams of that should be saturated fats.

As for bodybuilding not only is the right amount of fat key to achieving muscle growth, it's important to mention that fats are macronutrients. Macronutrients are key for bodies protein synthesis process, which is essential for successful bodybuilding.

What Are Some of The Best Sources of Healthy Fats?

Now that we know that some fats are in fact very good for us, the only real issue is knowing where to get them from. Here’s a look at some of the best sources of healthy fats:

Avocados – Avocados are affectionately known as ‘nature’s butter’ because of their rich and creamy texture when ripe. Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats and are loaded full of minerals. In fact, gram for gram, a ripe avocado contains more potassium than a banana. Avocados are also loaded full of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, D, and K.

Salmon – Salmon and indeed any oily fish for that matter, is widely regarded as being one of the healthiest foods on the planet. This is because salmon is loaded full of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These healthy fats lower cholesterol, they improve brain function, speed up the metabolism and they’re incredibly good for the heart. Oily fish is also rich in cell-strengthening, muscle-building protein and amino acids too.

Coconut oil – Despite being more than 99% saturated fat, coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It has been proven to help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and boost the metabolism. Coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides or MCTs for short. These are easier for the body to metabolise and use for energy, so the fats in the oil are used quicker for fuel, rather than being stored as body fat. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats in existence, plus it tastes great.

Other healthy fats include:

  • Grass-fed butter
  • Olive oil
  • Natural nuts
  • Seeds
  • Natural nut butters
  • Grass-fed fatty fed meat
  • Whole free-range or organic eggs

Source

Sugar Vs Fat

What’s worse sugar or fat? Such a common question I hear all the time. Obviously we have been discussing healthy fats in this article but what about fats in general vs sugar.

Let start of with sugar vs fat history. Many years ago when companies such as soda and chocolate companies (like dairy milk and Coca Cola) became big, they realised the unhealthiness of sugar. However, they feared if this got out to the public, then the big companies would take a huge hit financially. That is why they are believed to have paid off the media, to make fat the villain. Ever since people have believed that fat was what made you fat and unhealthy. As of recent times though, people are starting to realise it’s actually more sugar that does this. Essentially a high sugar diet is a lot more dangerous for your health that a high fat diet, as well as being worse for your waistline. Nowadays, people are actually saying that sugar is the new fat.

You mustn’t become complacent though as you still need to be wary of your fat intake. Even your healthy fats need to be taken in the right proportion so that they’re ‘healthy fats’. Too much of any types of fat can have negative effects on your body.

To conclude , yes fats can be healthy but you need to be aware of which ones are good for you and which aren’t. You also need to be aware to keep within the recommended daily amount guidelines for all types of fats.

Thank you for reading.

© 2019 Ben Smith

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