Top 5 Foods that Contain Healthy Fats

In our previous article we talked about the various fats and the actual importance of them to health and wellbeing. We now look at Top 5 foods that contain healthy fats which are essential to proper physical, mental and emotional functioning.

1. Nuts

These are packed full of protein, fibre, calcium and healthy essential fats which makes it an ideal snack food as a 30 gram serving will provide a nutrient dense supply to your body.

2. Fish oil

Fish oil has many benefits similar to those of coconut, avocado and nuts. It supports brain function, increases healthy HDL cholesterol and improves bone support which prevents osteoporosis in later life. Fish oil also offers mood support which will help prevent depression and anxiety in people. It also helps support serotonin levels which is the feel good hormone in the body, fish oil can be used to battle cravings for high sugar carbs which also induces serotonin release but using fish oil will lower the craving as it will release serotonin anyway.

3. Avocado

A faithful, long-time staple of any health conscious person’s diet. Avocado has an abundant amount of vitamins in it as well as healthy fats and is low in saturated fat which has made it even more popular although recent research has debunked the myth of harmful effects of saturated fat and shown that you need it in your diet. Avocado has higher levels of potassium than a banana. Avocados are also loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids which is shown to reduce cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Olive Oil

High in antioxidants, Vitamin E and polyphenols which has anti-inflammatory properties. This oil should be used on cold foods and not foods that are heated up as the properties in the olive oil are partially destroyed therefore nullifying the health effects of olive oil. Olive oil is mainly added to salads and not hot foods if you want to use it for its health advantages. Using it on salad therefore makes sure that you are realising the added health benefits of Olive Oil.

5. Coconut Oil

The modern-day super fat food. Perfect for cooking and has a particularly nice taste to it, coconut oil is high in price but also high in demand. Coconut oil is shown to speed up your metabolism therefore burning more calories at rest. It is also easily used by the body for energy. One of the massive health benefits of coconut oil is that it contains Lauric Acid which is an immune system booster also found in breast milk given to babies.

The overall take-home message here is that certain fats are good for you, so good for you that we would consider them as important if not more so than protein and carbohydrates for body function.

Due to the media’s portrayal of fat, people have been trying to avoid it and this has no doubt had a detrimental effect on a people’s health. The only real fat to avoid is Trans fats which plays no role at all in the human body.

Every other fat should be eaten in moderation. Fit them into your daily macronutrient allowance just bear in mind though that fats have a higher calorie count per gram than protein and carbohydrates, so it can be quite easy to over-indulge!

Antonio Linardi

Antonio is a Sports Scientist and Personal Trainer and currently works with people with a range of goals but specialises in muscle building, fat loss and improving athletic performance. An a FDSC and BSC student at Teesside University (in Sport and Exercise Applied Science, Fitness Instruction and Sport Therapy) his current research study involves finding out the effects of Intermittent Fasting on lean body mass increase and fat loss. He was also a former amateur boxer for Middlesbrough ABC and Natural Progression ABC and currently uses his experience to help improve the strength and conditioning of aspiring boxers and other athletes.

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