In our last blog post, we started our discussion on fats by identifying and breaking what bad fats are, where to find them, and how to avoid them. Today, we closeout this series by discussing the good healthy fats. In general, these fats will improve your overall health and should be incorporated into your diet.
What Are Good Fats?
To rehash, fats are macronutrients just like protein and carbohydrates, and is essential to a healthy diet. Your body needs fats for vitamin absorption, hormone production, energy, and a plethora of other functions. But not all fats are created equal. As discussed previously, bad fats can cause you to become unhealthy by contributing to poor cholesterol levels, contributing to insulin resistance, and clogging your arteries. Good fats on the other hand have the complete opposite effect. Good fats promote a sharp mental state, help to fight fatigue, are good for your heart, and can even help regulate your weight and fighting cravings.
But what are the healthy fats?
The types of fat that are considered healthy and an important part of your diet are unsaturated fats. These fats mainly come from vegetable, seeds, nuts, and fish, and are usually liquid at room temperature. Lets dive into these fats and discuss their benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Monounsaturated fats are unsaturated fats that have a single carbon to carbon double bond in their structure. These fats help maintain the overall health of your body’s cells and lower bad cholesterol. Eating more of these fats have also been shown to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Some foods that contain this health fat are:
- Oils such as olive oil, sesame oil, and canola oil
- Peanuts and cashews
- Avocados, olives, and sesame seeds
- Healthy spreads labeled “high oleic”
Polyunsaturated fats have more than one carbon double bond in their structure, and just like monounsaturated fats, they are often liquid at room temperature. They also have many of the same benefits including lowering bad cholesterol and promoting heart health. This type of fat is also known as an essential fat, which means that your body does not produce it and must receive it from an outside source.
Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats include:
- Pine nuts
- Sunflower seed
- Cooking oils such as corn oil and soybean oil
Within polyunsaturated fats, there are special types of fatty acids known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These specific types of fatty acids help in cell growth and brain function. Omega-3s have shown to also lower triglyceride levels and to increase good cholesterol. Foods high in omega-3 and omega-6 include:
- Fatty fish like salmon or mackerel
- Algae (nori, spirulina, seaweed)
- Flax seed
Nutritional education is extremely important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At Diabetes Texas, our goal is to make managing diabetes easier for our patients by promoting overall health. We believe that your diabetes should just be a detail of your life and not its main focus. Our treatment programs focus on educating you on the disease, providing innovative treatment solutions that address diabetes on every front, and giving you the tools you need to make the best decisions for your health. Schedule your appointment today to see what first-class diabetes treatment is like. We have conveneint on-site lab testing, certified diabetes educators, and an in-house pharmacy to make sure you get the right prescriptions fast. Book your appointment today!