When it comes to the word “fat” the general thought is that all fats are bad and to be completely avoided; however, there are such things which give benefits of fats in the body. When referencing the “bad” fats, the medical world is speaking specifically of all trans-unsaturated and saturated fats. These fats have been found to raise cholesterol and are not great for your heart. However, in recent years, medicine has been discovering that some saturated fats are good for you.
When it comes to fats, you want to look for unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are filled with polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats that when eaten, in moderation, can reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. The most commonly known polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids. You can find these fatty acids in fish like salmon, trout, catfish, etc. because these fish are fatty. If fish is really not your speed, you can also find omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts and flaxseed.
Another really great fat to have in your diet is monounsaturated fat. These fats are great because they help reduce your risk of heart disease and are typically filled with antioxidant vitamin E. Typically you can find monounsaturated fats in foods like avocados, certain types of nuts (hazelnuts; almonds; cashews), and canola, olive, and peanut oils.
So why does all of this matter? Well, eating healthy fats actually helps your body in ways you never realized.
1. Your body needs good fat to burn the bad fat
Surprisingly your body is naturally made up of a good percentage of fat. The average man should have between 11-14% body fat, and the average woman should have between 16-23% body fat. The outside layer of your cells are made up of fat, so naturally, the type of fat you put into your body will affect how your body looks. Putting good fats into your body can help with balancing your hormones, improving your metabolism and eliminating constant cravings. This means that by adding “good” fats to your diet, your body can use them to help you lose weight.
2. Good fats help with muscle recovery
If you actively workout, having good fats in your diet will help your muscles recover because you will have already balanced out your hormones with those good fats and your cells can focus on helping your muscles recover after a good butt-kicking at the gym.
3. Strong bones = no osteoporosis
Everybody knows that we need to drink our milk to have strong and healthy bones, but did you know that you need fats in order to absorb that vitamin D into your body? Just like with muscle recovery, your cells need the fats to help absorb the vitamin D (and other vitamins) into your diet which is why it is important to add things like oil to your daily repertoire.
4. Good fats help reduce the risk of depression
Having a healthy amount of healthy fats in your diet can help with your brain function and actually put you in a better mood. When you go on a low-fat diet and remove both good and bad fats, you will reduce your cholesterol and fat levels which will then reduce your serotonin levels. Serotonin is your feel-good neurotransmitter and helps your hormones transmit successfully through your body.
5. Sex drive is tied to healthy fats
Obviously lowering your body fat will automatically up your sex drive so adding good fats to burn bad fats will help your sex drive. On top of losing weight and feeling more comfortable in your own skin, good fats help you increase your androgen levels. What are androgens you ask?Well, the most commonly recognized androgen is testosterone. In men, an increase in testosterone will help build up their sex drive as well as their stamina. For women, adding healthy fats helps reduce the side effects of PMS and menopause which will also increase libido and help reduce the risk of infertility issues.
These are only five of the many benefits that having good fats in your diet can provide. In general, adding good fats to your diet will increase your hormone functionality which will help you on a day-to-day basis. And think about it from this perspective: even adding 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to your diet daily can drastically improve your health. Who would have thought that eating those “evil fats” would actually be healthier for you than you ever would have imagined?
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