Healthy Fats for a Healthy You!

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To lead a healthy lifestyle, in addition to exercising regularly, it’s important to keep a check on the types of foods you consume. Not all fats contribute to weight gain. An in fact, there are certain “good fats” that help our bodies to reduce cravings, lower the risks associated with diabetes, control inflammation, and reduce belly fat.

Your body reaps a whole lot of benefits from the good fats below. Eaten in moderation, they can help you shed excess weight, lower bad cholesterol, and give you glowing skin, healthy nails and
shiny hair.

Omega-3

Monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats are healthy alternatives to the trans fats and refined polyunsaturated fats that are commonly found in processed foods. These good fats are packed with health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels, aiding in weight reduction, lowering the risk of heart diseases and strokes, decreasing the risk of breast cancer, and relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by reducing pain and stiffness.

Polyunsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fat is a type of dietary fat found in plant and animal food. When these fats are consumed in moderation they are beneficial for the heart. They also lower bad cholesterol and provide nutrients for cell development.
Foods that contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats
Nuts(almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans). Instead of eating foods that are high in unhealthy saturated fat, try replacing them with a handful of nuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. These are some of the best sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with no trans fats and a fewer saturated fats. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans and pistachios are high in monounsaturated fats, while Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fats.

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Health benefits of these nuts:
Lowers the risk of weight gain, triglycerides and cholesterol
Helps prevent gallstones and it is high in fibre content
Controls type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Reduces inflammation, risk of heart attack and stroke
Vegetable oils (olive, canola, peanut, sesame, safflower oil). Whether vegetable oil is used for cooking, as a salad dressing or shortening agent for baking, they have a high content of good fats. Vegetable oils contain monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E (tocopherol).

Health benefits of vegetable oils:
Promotes cell development and prevents heart diseases
Helps the body to carry out various functions
Avocado. Avocado contains higher amounts of monounsaturated fats and relatively lower amounts of polyunsaturated fats. They are also cholesterol and sodium-free.

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Health benefits of avocado:
Lowers the risk of cancer, blood pressure and reduces diabetes risk
Improves skin texture and tone
Alleviates arthritis
Recommended for pregnant women and Guards against certain birth defects
Improves digestion and regulates bowel movements
Help shed those extra kilos and improves cardiovascular health
Peanut butter and almond butter. Apart from peanut butter, almond butter is also gaining popularity nowadays. These are high in monounsaturated fats.

Health benefits of peanut and almond butter:
Helps control hunger, which can aid in weight loss
Lowers the risk of cardiovascular, coronary heart disease and colon cancer in women
Lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment
Improves blood cholesterol level and Provides energy
Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential polyunsaturated fats. There are three types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA and ALA. These fatty acids play a crucial role in normal growth, development, and support the brain’s cognitive and behavioural functions.

Health benefits of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids:
Foods containing EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish (salmon, tuna and trout), shellfish (crab, mussels and oysters), and fish oils.
Incorporated in many parts of the body including cell membranes
Aids in proper foetal development and healthy ageing
Supports the cardiovascular function and prevents Alzheimer’s disease

Health benefits of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids:
Foods containing EPA and ALA Omega-3 fatty acids include vegetable oil (canola and soy oil), walnuts, flaxseed, and soy products
Prevents autoimmune diseases and reduces allergies
Gives relief from pain and inflammation. It also improves cardiovascular health
Aids in production of prostaglandin, which further supports kidney and gastrointestinal functions, prevents blood clots and high blood pressure.
Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for good health. However, our bodies do not produce them, so the only source of these fatty acids are food and supplements. These polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acids have numerous benefits.

Health Benefits of Omega-6 fatty acids:
Foods that contain Omega-6 fatty acids include roasted soybean and soy nut butter, vegetable oils (safflower, sunflower, poppy seed, corn, walnut, cottonseed oil), seeds(sunflower, pumpkin, sesame), soft margarine (liquid or tub), grape seed
Supports bone health, fights inflammation and diminishes nerve pain
Lowers the risk of heart diseases and high blood pressure
Reduces symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Lessens rheumatoid arthritis        -Akhila