The Best Natural Fats & Oils
Fat is an essential part of any diet. It is a significant source of energy, not to mention a much-needed ingredient for building protective sheaths around the nerves and cell membranes. Healthy fats help the entire body, but some stand above the rest for their many benefits. Here are some of the best fats and oils that you can consume.
Types of Healthy Fats
Healthy fats exist in two main types: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
Polyunsaturated fats are essential for both cell growth and healthy brain function. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat with benefits including stabilizing heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and raising good (LDL) cholesterol as they lower triglycerides.
Marine sources offer the most omega-3 content. Wild-caught salmon and mackerel contain high amounts, but you can also get omega-3s from flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. You can also complement a healthy diet with natural supplements containing omega-3s.
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are also necessary for overall health, as they help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cancer risk and heart disease. Omega-6s are found in corn and soybean oil, and also in walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Monounsaturated fats can prevent hardening of the arteries, lower heart disease and stroke risk, and promote weight loss. They can be found in olive and peanut oil and are often recommended to use in cooking to replace butter and other less healthy oils.
Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fat, as do sesame and pumpkin seeds, and hazelnuts and pecans.
Other Ways to Get Healthy Fats
You may get enough healthy fat if your diet includes most of the ones mentioned above. However, eating a healthy diet may no longer be sufficient to meet your body’s nutrient needs.
Today’s fruits and vegetables contain far less in the way of nutrients than they used to. As a result, many health professionals recommend adding nutritional supplements to maintain a nutrient balance in the body.
Some people may not receive these fats through their diet as the result of excluding certain food groups or by simply not being able to absorb them from food. These individuals can also benefit from supplementation with healthy fats.
How Much Healthy Fat Is Best?
Considering its benefits, it may seem as though any amount of healthy fat can be consumed, and the body will reap the same benefits. However, the over-consumption of some fats can be unhealthy.
The general recommendation for healthy consumption is to get between 20 and 35 percent of your total calories from fat. Of this total amount, only up to 20% should be monounsaturated fat, up to 10% should be polyunsaturated, and less than 10% should be saturated fat from coconuts, animals, processed meats, or baked goods.
When you’ve decided to supplement with healthy fats, top-quality products are the best way to give your body what it needs. Nutritional and herbal supplements from Forrest Health combine quality with today’s technology for maximum benefit. Learn more by calling 408-354-4262.