Everyone knows that here at Poosh, we are not novices when it comes to eating our fats. The keto diet is run by fat, and Kourt loves to do a keto cycle to keep things right and tight. But that doesn’t mean all fats will get you bikini ready or fuel you in the right way, so it’s important to choose wisely.
When we think of healthy fats, we tend to default to avocados and almonds. While that has cute meme appeal, it doesn’t give us any real information. Here are the slightly less popular deets to keep in mind so that you know how to balance the right amount of specific good fats you are getting on a daily basis.
We know that we need fats to make us feel satiated longer—they are denser calorically, so they provide amazing amounts of energy for workouts or an active day. Monounsaturated fats are important for heart health. They lower “bad” cholesterol levels, aka low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol, which can build up in your arteries. Monounsaturated fats also heighten the level of “good” cholesterol in your body, known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which transports cholesterol throughout your body back to the liver, where it’s processed out of the body to detox and prevent buildup.
When most people hear the word cholesterol, we immediately think of some glutinous evil force, but in reality, it’s a necessary part of the makeup in all of our cells. Consuming monounsaturated fats gives us a healthy balance. This also has an effect on blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and many other serious conditions.
If you feel like this news only applies to your grandpa, consider that monounsaturated fats also provide nutrients to develop and maintain your body’s cells, according to Heart.org. Typically, these particular fats are rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that works against premature aging of the body and the brain. Examples of monounsaturated fats you should be fitting into your diet are:
—Olive, coconut, peanut, and sesame oils
—Nuts and nut butters (almonds, peanuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
But wait! There’s more! Polyunsaturated fats are heart healthy, too, but they are also super important for the old noodle. Many studies indicate that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats show “neuroprotective action” to ward off neurodegenerative diseases. They are incredibly important during all stages of life, from conception to much later in life. Expecting mothers should eat them because they are crucial during fetal and postnatal brain development, and we should continue including them in our diets since they slow cognitive decline as we age, helping us stay sharp and active.
Make sure to include plenty of these polyunsaturated fats in your diet:
—Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
—Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
—Minimally processed soy
As with everything in life, you can overdo your fat intake, so eat in moderation. After all, it’s still caloric. A serving of good fat once or twice a day is fine, and do your best to mix up the source to maximize diversity and include plenty of fiber. It’s all about balance.