A healthy diet is not just the inclusion and consumption of healthy foods packed with nutritional value and low caloric content. You also have to get rid of unhealthy fat while ingesting only the fats that are deemed good for you. The “bad fats” are saturated, and the “healthy” fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, will help you become the healthiest you that you can become.
According to the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the control of unhealthy fats and consumption of good fats might actually lead to “a million fewer deaths” on a global scale that are the result of heart disease.
Good Fat: Polyunsaturated
When you do away with saturated fats, you want to replace them with polyunsaturated fats. Doing so lends to health improvements and may even lead to a longer life expectancy. Polyunsaturated fats need to serve as the replacement, not just for saturated fats alone, but also refined carbohydrates and trans fats too. Polyunsaturated fats have multiple health benefits, including:
- Reduces bad cholesterol levels in the blood
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- Reduces the risk of heart attack
- Rich in nutrients for cellular maintenance
- High vitamin E content
In contrast, saturated fats do the opposite: your cholesterol levels increase and your risk of cardiovascular conditions increases. In one study of participants from 186 countries, experts found over 700,000 deaths (globally) were associated with consuming fewer polyunsaturated fats versus saturated fats. This same study suggests that over 250,000 individuals’ deaths could have been stopped if they had decreased their saturated fat intake. What’s more, decreasing the amount of trans fats intake could end up saving 537,000 lives from heart disease-related deaths on a global scale.
Fats Selection: Doing it Right
Getting rid of unhealthy fats in one’s diet is crucial. Selecting good fats to consume is also important and you need your source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You get the most out of your nutritional intake when you consume healthy fats. Below are just a couple of sources you can get healthy fat from:
- Seeds: sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews, pecans, peanuts, almonds
- Natural peanut butter
- Fatty fish: trout, tuna, salmon