Fat gets a bad rap and it is bad- up to a certain point. Fat is also good and necessary for the human body. Everyone needs fat in his or her daily diet. There are certain fats that are good for the body such as monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The former is a healthy fat that provides protection against such things as heart disease and a variety of cancers.
Monounsaturated fat is found in such things as olive oil, avocadoes, nuts, olives, nut butters and canola oil. Olive oil is also instrumental in lowering cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fat is necessary for the growth of body cells and it also provides the fatty acids that are needed for the health of the skin.
Another much talked about healthy fat is omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in shellfish and other types of fish. There are three types of omega-3 fats and the body requires them all. These include ALA, DHA and EPA.
In particular DHA and EPA are very important for the healthy functioning of the heart. They reduce inflammation in the arteries; help to lower blood pressure by a small amount; decrease the level of triglycerides in the blood; play a role in keeping the walls of the arteries as relaxed as possible; and help to make the composition of the blood less sticky, thereby reducing the chance that a blood clot could take place.
Other potential benefits of consuming an adequate supply of omega-3 fats:
May decrease the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer
Can be useful in the treatment of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis
Preliminary research studies point to the role this healthy fat plays in treating depression.
To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more fish in your diet, as well as ground flaxseed and walnuts. One healthy way to add more fat into your diet without packing on pounds is to add a selection of nuts to your salads and to sprinkle ground flaxseed on your yogurt. It is also wise to sauce vegetables in olive oil as opposed to vegetable oil.
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