They were wrong.
Whoever told you all forms of fat are bad for the health was wrong.
I know it’s pretty hard to believe. All our lives we’ve been told that fats are unhealthy. We’ve been treating fats like an enemy when we really shouldn’t have.
In fact, dietitians and doctors nowadays are singing the praises of “healthy fats.” Who would have thought that we’d be seeing the words ‘healthy’ and ‘fats’ together, right?
But it seems there is such a thing as healthy fats. And these are fats that are actually good for you.
By healthy fats, we mean…
Fats that are unsaturated in nature – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – are good. They help the body by reducing cholesterol levels while also lowering the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, research studies show that they have a profound effect on insulin and blood sugar levels. This decreases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. These fats are also nutrient-rich and are anti-inflammatory in nature.
The most popular type of polyunsaturated fat is Omega-3.
But is it UP To the hype?
Omega-3 is one of the most talked about types of polyunsaturated fat. You’ve heard about it – it’s literally all over. It’s a fatty acid that has captured the attention of the medical world because of its cardiovascular benefits.
Claims regarding the health benefits of omega-3 are backed up by research. Clinical studies show that this type of fat promotes good health by:
- Delaying plaque build-up in the coronary arteries
- Enhancing blood vessel function
- Lessening clotting risk
- Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
- Reducing triglyceride levels in the blood
Furthermore, there is growing evidence of the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids in certain conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
You are what you eat
It’s true – you are what you eat. Now you can eat your way to good health. The best dietary source of omega-3 is oily fish. Some of the really good ones include blue-eye trevalla, blue mackerel, herring, salmon, canned salmon, canned sardines and tuna.
Omega-3 can also be found in plants. Examples are chia seeds, leafy greens, linseed, pumpkin seeds, tofu, and walnuts. You can also add avocados, almonds, pistachios, olives, tofu, and eggs to your diet. They are all good sources.
The key to healthy eating is in looking at the big picture. Examine your diet in its totality and don’t just focus on a single nutrient. Eating fish should be a part of a balanced diet; it should not be your whole diet.
Are fish oil supplements enough?
Recent studies suggest that fish oil supplements are not entirely helpful in lowering the risk of stroke or heart attack.
Back in 2012, the Heart Foundation recommended a daily dose of fish oil to Australian adults. This could be taken either in supplement form or through one’s diet.
But that recommendation was updated in 2015. There wasn’t enough evidence to support using fish oil supplements in preventing heart attack. Instead, you are more likely to benefit by ingesting your Omega-3 from whole sources rather than extracted.
Are you taking fish oil supplements? Or have you taken them? We’d love to hear how they worked for you. Let us know via the comments section below.