In our journey through life, we are bombarded with stereotypical images of health, fitness, and beauty by society and media. It is up to us to interpret and react how we see appropriate. Most of us are dedicated to finding ways to fit these expectations. We search for remedies, light, low fat, no fat foods to “fix” ourselves. When in actuality, we should be abandoning this thought pattern and instead be searching for alternatives, such as finding good fat to eat. Let us explore this, shall we? Myth: All fat is bad. Truth: There are types of good fat to eat. Fact: Over 100,000 Americans have too much fat on their bodies. Everyone’s body possesses fat. There is safe fat and excess fat. People store excess fat on their bodies because they are eating the wrong types of fat…not the good ones. As human beings, it is important to store a certain amount of fat droplets in our bodies. This is necessary for preserving the functions of cells. In addition, there are great many types of fats that hold great powers to fight disease. The key to dealing with fats is to control both the amount of fat you eat and the kind of fat you eat.
So, let’s talk about some good fat to eat, OK? First off, we need to discuss the composition of fat, briefly, of course. A major building block of fat is fatty acids, which are composed of chains of carbon atoms. The length of these chains determines how your body uses the fat. Shorter chains of fatty acids are absorbed quicker than longer chains of fatty acids are absorbed, which tend to be stored as fat. Attached to these chains of fatty acids (or carbon atoms) you will find hydrogen atoms. The more of these, the more saturated the fat is. If the chain is missing some hydrogen atoms, the fatty acid is unsaturated. One missing point of hydrogen atoms is referred to a monosaturated fat (found in olives, cashews, and salmon). When there are two or more missing points the fat is called polysaturated.
This fat is found in fish and vegetable oils. EFA or Essential Fatty Acid is present in polysaturated fat and is very important for normal cell growth and development. Now, let’s talk more about the good fat to eat. EFA’s are not produced by the human body. Hence, EFA’s are solely provided by your diet. Essential Fatty Acids are extremely beneficial to our bodies. It even has the ability to treat many health conditions. Being that the fats we eat are altered by chemical means, they have been striped of their EFA’s. They are now synthetic fats such as trans-fatty fats found in fast foods, stick margarine and packaged snacks, i.e. cookies. Lastly, EFA’s are classified into 2 omega fats more commonly known as omega 3 and omega 6.
These fats are both essential and must be included in your diet. Omega 3 fatty acid is known for preventing and/or treating heart disease, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Omega 3 fats are present in the following foods: Walnuts, wheat germ oil, salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish. Also, flax seeds, purslane, perilla oil are all high in omega 3 fats. Omega 6 fatty acids regulate reproduction and metabolism, and are good for both skin and hair and important for normal growth. Foods high in omega 6 fats include but not limited to almonds, peanut butter, Brazil nuts, soybean oil, cotton seed oil, corn oil, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Now that we have touched on some very basic facts about fat, hopefully we now are more comfortable with the consumption of fats. Now let’s go out there and find some good fat to eat!
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