Fats are an important and essential part of our diet. They provide energy, and are an essential constituent of every cell membrane. Some fats are good while some are bad. Bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats that causes cardiac problems while good fats are unsaturated fats that play a vital role in performing many important functions of body, like:
Provides Energy: One gram of fat in our diet provides 9 kcal. Fats are the primary source of energy. From our daily caloric needs 25-35% calorie should be from fat source. Whenever our body needs extra energy, the stored fat is broken down.
Helps in vitamin absorption: Many important vitamins in our diet like vitamin A, D,E,K,P need fat for better and proper absorption. Without fats, their absorption cannot take place, and this may result in impaired body functioning.
Helps in maintaining body temperature:
Fats cells, that are stored in adipose tissues, help in maintaining normal body temperature.
Fats also protect the body organs from trauma or injury by cushioning them.
They help in better brain functioning as the brain contains 60% of our total fat. Any diet deficit in fats may results in impaired learning capabilities, memory retention, moods and hormones.
Omega 3 fatty acids help in better brain functioning, heart functioning and prevent stroke.
So, do we really need to avoid fat in our daily diet?
After seeing all these benefits, it is safe to say NO!
Well, it has been observed that people with a low fat diet always end their diet with high sugar intake in the form of HFCS, chocolates or sweets to satisfy their cravings – which is actually more dangerous than fats as the excess sugar gets converted into fats and stored in body. This means it is just additional fats getting stored in the body.
If you are looking for healthy weight loss, you should opt healthy food choices, which include fats. Weight lost with very low fat diet is not permanent. .
As we have discussed earlier, that few fats are good and few are bad. Our diet should be rich in good fats.
The good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that helps in lowering cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular diseases. The food sources that are rich in good fat are almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pecan, hazelnuts, avocados, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, corn oil, fish, salmon, tofu, soya beans. Including good fats in daily diet wisely results in healthy fat burn.
Tips of choosing good fats in packaged foods:
As we know now, not all fats are good, so we should choose wisely. Here are the some quick tips of choosing good and healthy fats in diet:
Look at the label first. The food should be low in saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats. The fat source should be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oil, fish oil or nuts.
Food should be low in simple sugars. The packaged foods and beverages are usually packed with added sugars. See the source of sweetness. Avoid simple sugars, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, maple syrup, and corn syrup.