Not all fats are created equal, but those that are below pack a lot of bumps. From lowering bad cholesterol and helping shed excess weight to giving you shiny hair and healthy nails, your body will reap the benefits of these healthy fats.
The benefits of avocados are so numerous that they are one of the healthiest fruits you can consume. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, which increase good cholesterol levels and reduce bad ones – talk about a double hit. Avocados are also replete with the benefits of vitamin E, which helps prevent free radical damage, increases immunity and acts as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin.
In addition, it is packed with healthy protein; In fact, it has more than any other fruit. For pregnant women, avocado is also one of the best folate foods, since this vitamin can help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Get more avocados in your diet and try one of these avocado recipes. Or use it for cooking by adding avocado oil in your kitchen. It has a mild flavor that will not dominate the dishes like other oils. Its high smoke point of approximately 520 degrees means it is suitable for grilling or frying. And since it’s not solid at room temperature, it’s a tasty option to pour into salads, sandwiches or vegetables.
2. Butter & Ghee
We are all familiar with substances “similar to butter”; Margarine, I can not believe it is not butter and all those other “vegetable oil spreads” found in stores. But real butter, preferably raw or from organic sources fed with grass, is what you should look for.
Another victim of the war against fat, butter is experiencing a return as a healthy fat as the benefits of butter become more known. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function properly and improve skin health. More importantly, these two fatty acids are considered essential, which means that the body needs them but can not produce them by itself; they must be derived from food sources. Butter is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, including beneficial selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
Because of its low combustion temperature, around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, butter is not ideal for cooking at high temperatures. To use it at high temperatures safely, the butter should be emulsified by melting the butter over low heat until the milk and fat separate and then pouring the solids from the milk. Since much of the decadent taste of butter comes from the milk solids, the disadvantage of the emulsion is that the flavor is not the same.
If you want to save yourself the trouble and still get that buttery taste, instead use butter in baked goods and spread on freshly baked bread (including gluten-free varieties) or add a tablespoon of roasted vegetables.
3. Coconut Oil
One of my favorite oils because of its numerous benefits: did you know that you can use coconut oil on your skin and coconut oil for your hair? The benefits of coconut oil are many. It is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are easy to digest for the body, are not easily stored by the body in the form of fat and are small in size, allowing them to infuse energy to the cells almost immediately.
These fatty acids also improve brain function and memory. In addition, the large amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil means that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory food and help reduce arthritis.
Adding coconut oil to your diet is easy; I love using it to cook and bake, or even apply it directly to my skin. Keep in mind that when cooking directly with coconut oil, the taste can be a bit overwhelming for some. If that is the case, try using less. It is also important to keep in mind that, at room temperature, coconut oil is solid, so it is not the best option when you need a healthy fat in liquid forms, such as a salad dressing.
When choosing a coconut oil, I recommend extra virgin varieties, since refined or processed coconut oils can eliminate many of the health benefits.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The benefits of olive oil are so deep that any diet should include it. First, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is ideal for heart health. In fact, a 2013 study found that when people supplemented a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil, it reduced the incidence of heart attack or death from heart disease, probably due to their high levels of monounsaturated fats. A large amount of antioxidants in EVOO means that it protects your cells from damage. It also helps improve memory and cognitive function and works as an anti-inflammatory. Since many diseases are due to chronic inflammation, this is a big surprise!
Unfortunately, buying this healthy fat is not as easy as grabbing the first bottle you see. First of all, keep in mind that I recommend only extra virgin varieties of oil. This means that there are no chemicals involved when the oil is refined. Unfortunately, many common brands are fake olive oil! A 2011 UC Davis study found that many of the best-selling brands did not meet the standards for extra virgin olive oils; lawsuits against olive oil companies have followed suit.
Some tips to recognize the real EVOO are to be careful with any brand that costs less than $ 10 per liter; look for a seal of the International Olive Council; verify the harvest date on the label; if it is labeled as “light”, “pure” or “mixed”, it is not virgin quality; and finally, opt for dark bottles, as they protect the oil from oxidation.
EVOO is not recommended for cooking at high temperatures due to its low smoke point, but it is excellent for preparing salad dressings or sprinkling on bread or cooked foods.
5. Omega-3s from Fish
Why are omega-3 fatty acids considered essential? Because the body is not capable of producing them by itself. Therefore, we must rely on omega-3 foods in our diet to provide these extremely beneficial compounds.
Actually, there are three different types of “omega-3”: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The preferred sources of omega-3 are DHA and EPA, the types found in seafood sources such as nutritious salmon and sardines. (7) ALA, on the other hand, is found in some plant foods, including certain nuts and seeds, as well as high-quality cuts of meat such as grass-fed beef.
The human body can convert ALA into usable DHA and EPA to a certain extent, but this is not as efficient as obtaining DHA and EPA directly from the food sources that provide it. Even after extensive research, it is not entirely clear how well ALA becomes EPA and DHA or whether it has benefits in itself, but health authorities, like those at Harvard Medical School, still consider all sources of omega -3 crucial in the diet.