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Diet & Nutrition

Fats ain't all bad: 8 fats that you should be eating

Fats in foods often get a bad rep - but have we been wrong all along?

By Michael Sheather
Fat, any kind of fat, is often portrayed as the bad guy in discussions about diet and we are all told repeatedly to stay as far away from them as we can
But some fats are good for us, so good that they are considered essential for good health.
A balanced combination of fatty acids and nutritional oils may benefit thinking and reasoning, weight management, heart health, eye and brain development, and even your moods.
Here are eight types of fats that you should consider adding to your diet:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Most commonly found in Walnuts, salmon, flaxseeds, grass-fed beef and sardines, omega-3s are thought to be among the world’s healthiest fats and are associated with brain development, cognition, eye health, heart health, as well as combating dementia and depression. Some omega-3s are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting, and cell growth as well as the components of cell membranes.
2. Fish Oil: Fish oil is known for its effect on cardiovascular, neurological, and cognitive health. Supplements are an effective substitute – good choices are krill oil, cod liver oil, and/or fish oil.
3. Canola Oil: Studies show that a canola oil-enriched, low-glycaemic diet improved blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics, especially those with high blood pressure.
4. Olive oil: Olive oil helps to to lower LDL ("bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol and may have a protective role in breast, colon, lung, ovarian and skin cancer development. A number of studies have also shown that olive oil may have additional beneficial effects on blood pressure, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and immune function.
5. Hemp Oil: Hemp seed oil contains a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 linolenic essential fatty acids, and also contains vitamin E.
6. Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and is thought to contribute to heart health and help reduce inflammation.
7. Pine nuts and oils: Pinolenic is an omega 6 essential fatty acid contained in Siberian pine nuts, Korean pine nuts and oils. Recent research suggests it helps in weight loss by curbing appetite by triggering hormonal hunger suppressants in the body. Pinolenic acid may also lower cholesterol.
8. Others: Also consider grapeseed oil, walnut oil, high oleic acid soybean oil (rather than regular soybean oil) and avocado oil.

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