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Fats have received a bad reputation. With the dozens of fad diets out there, it’s easy to become confused about exactly what you should be eating. One diet will tell you to load up on healthy fats while another will tell you it’s important to restrict your fat intake. So, what’s the deal?

In this post, we are going to talk about why it is important to add healthy fats to your diet and exactly how you can do that. We will also briefly touch upon the fats you will want to avoid as not all fats are created equal. 

Why Healthy Fats are an Important Part of Your Diet 

So, why are healthy fats so important anyway? One of the biggest reasons has to do with your brain. Did you know that the human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat? The brain needs fat to function, so don’t deprive it by restricting your healthy fat intake! 

Another important thing about fats is that we have what are called essential fatty acids which are fatty acids that we must obtain from our diet. The body cannot synthesize them on its own, so we must consume them from foods like fatty fish, flax and chia seeds, and walnuts. These essential fatty acids are super important for brain health and can help combat inflammation. 

Here are a handful of other reasons the body needs healthy fat to thrive. 

  • Important for hormone balance.
  • Healthy fats help support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Important energy source. 
  • Helps support the proper functioning of our nerves. 
  • Helps support healthy skin. 

Why healthy fats are important

What Are Healthy Fats?

We know that fats are important for optimal health, but where do we find them in our diet? Here’s a list of some of the healthiest fats you may want to add to your diet regularly. Remember that certain foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds are very nutrient-dense, so a little goes a long way! You don’t need to eat an entire avocado to provide your body with the fat it needs to function or eat an entire cup of nuts. The same is true for things like coconut and olive oil. However, small additions of these fats to your diet in each meal can make a big difference in your health as well as your appetite. You will find that consuming some sort of healthy fat with each meal will actually help keep you full for longer periods of time. 

Here are some fats you may want to consider adding to your diet. 

  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Pasture-raised organic eggs 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados 
  • Coconut oil 
  • Olives and olive oil 

What are healthy fats?

Which Fats Should You Avoid?

While it’s important to talk about the healthy fats you want to add to your diet, it’s just as important to talk about the ones you want to avoid. These fats can be extremely damaging to overall health and should be avoided.  

Take a look at the fats you have in your diet and see where you can make improvements. Remember that the brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and the body relies on healthy fats for optimal hormone balance, skin health, nerve function, and energy. Don’t deprive your body of the fats it needs to function at its best. 

Which fats should you Avoid?

Resources:

Essential Fatty Acids in the Human Brain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590

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