Creating a healthy diet plan is difficult when you’re bombarded with scary messaging about the evils of fats and carbs. Fats in particular have gotten a bad reputation, but if you’re selective about the types of fats you eat, they can actually boost your health. Learn more about the top benefits of including fats in your diet and incorporate them into your meals today.
Essential vitamins are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Vitamin C and all of the B vitamins are soluble in water. However, vitamins A, D, and E won’t absorb into your bloodstream without the presence of fats.
If you take a daily multivitamin, eat some cheese and crackers or another snack with a little fat in it to help you absorb all those vitamins.
When deciding which fats to allow into your diet, look for the unsaturated variety. Monounsaturated fats help maintain your “good” cholesterol (HDL, or high-density lipoprotein), which collects the “bad” cholesterol (LDL, or low-density lipoprotein) from around your body and escorts it to the liver.
Unsaturated fats come in a couple of varieties. While monounsaturated fats help maintain cholesterol levels, polyunsaturated fats help build and maintain your cells. The most common polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
These are commonly found in fatty fish, as well as plant-based oils like flaxseed. Omega-3s and omega-6s encourage blood flow to the brain. These fats can help boost brain function and improve memory.
Those monounsaturated fats that help maintain your cholesterol will do good work in the long term to protect your heart. When you eat too much saturated fat, the cholesterol (that “bad” LDL) builds up in your arteries and puts excess strain on your heart.
Healthy, unsaturated fats help to keep arteries functional by clearing away cholesterol buildup. Clear arteries translate to a healthy heartbeat for you and a lower risk of long-term cardiovascular disease.
When you plan your meals for the day or week, don’t leave fat off your plate completely. Always keep in mind the top benefits of including fat in your diet.