For years, people the world over have been told that fat is bad from them. Now Thai nutritionist Phasit Kanasirichainon is begging to differ, pointing out that science has shown that certain types of fats are not only good for you but are part of a balanced diet
Here are three reasons why:
1. Know which fats are good.
Monounsaturated fat (MUFA), polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), are “good fats” that are widely accepted for their ability to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a bad cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
Both can be found in some plant-based oils, especially in olive oil. Not only are these types of fat important for daily fat intake as sources of energy, healthy fats like PUFA also contain fatty acids that your body needs for cell growth.
2. Good fats have many health benefits.
The average person of a healthy weight is recommended to obtain approximately 20-35 per cent of daily calorific intake from good fats. This is because apart from serving as fuel for the body, fat also plays vital roles in improving brain function. Sixty per cent of the brain composition is fat, thus supplementing diet with good fats is essential.
According to Gary L Wenk, Professor at Ohio State University, a diet high in monounsaturated fats is found to enhance the cognitive function of the brain to lessen the chance of memory loss.
Fat also helps neurogenesis (the formation of new brain cells) and as a fuel source, helps the brain function more efficiently as it produces fewer free radicals as a metabolic side effect, explains Dr David Perlmutter, board-certified neurologist and author of Grain Brain.
3. Good fats keep you full
When consumed in moderation, good fats can actually help protect against gaining weight. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who consume an oil-rich diet feel full sooner and longer because when fat enters the body, it slows down digestion and increases fullness.
This documented decrease in appetite means it’s less likely that you feel a sudden urge to snack throughout the day.
Healthy fats foods to eat
>> Olive oil: Contains higher level of MUFA than other edible oils means it is particularly heart-healthy and also rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant to help decrease the risk of heart disease and contain cancer-fighting properties.
>> Salmon: Great source of omega-3 fatty acids, proven to reduce inflammation.
>> Avocado: Gives a good source of antioxidant vitamin E.
>> Walnuts: Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha linoleic acid.