Kitchen tricks and tips

Importance of healthy fats in a diet

frutos secos grasas saludables

Healthy fats are essential for our body, despite often being said otherwise. While it’s true that they’re not recommended for certain diseases, especially in cases of obesity or cardiovascular pathologies, not all types of fat are the same or have the same functions.

That’s why today, from Kuoko, we’re going to explain what fats are and why you should consider them when planning your diet.

What are fats?

healthy fats salmon

Fats, also known as lipids, are one of the three main classes of macronutrients that make up our diet, along with carbohydrates and proteins.

The functions of fats in our body cover various aspects, as they provide energy and transport fat-soluble vitamins, among other things. Additionally, they play a role in the regulation of metabolic and hormonal processes. However, there are many types of fats, and not all are equally beneficial for the body.

Types of fats

healthy fat olive oil

The main types of fats are as follows:

  • Saturated fats

This type of fat is responsible for the bad reputation of fats and should be avoided because they lack double bonds in their chemical structure and are saturated with hydrogen atoms, so their intake should be limited.

  • Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats are the ‘good’ fats, as they have double bonds in their chemical structure and are beneficial for cardiovascular health. They can be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated and are often found in natural, unprocessed foods.

Functions of healthy fats

Unsaturated fats are beneficial for our health, and it’s crucial that we consume enough of them as they take care of many essential functions. Here’s a specific explanation of what lipids are used for:

  • They are a source of energy.
  • They help us absorb nutrients because many essential nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), require fats for proper absorption.
  • They contribute to cardiovascular health, as some can help reduce LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).
  • They are beneficial for the brain since it needs fats to function. Additionally, healthy fats are crucial for cognitive function, memory, and concentration.
  • They play a fundamental role in hormonal regulation.
  • They help maintain healthy skin and hair and prevent irritation.

What foods to eat to get the benefits of healthy fats?

Now that you know what healthy fats are, here’s a list of foods you can eat to obtain their benefits:

  • Olive oil.
  • Avocado.
  • Eggs.
  • Nuts.
  • Fatty fish.
  • Yogurt and cheese.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Seeds.

These are just a few, but there are more! In any case, the functions of fats are essential for the proper functioning of the body, so always choose unsaturated fats and combine them with proteins and carbohydrates.

Remember that, although healthy fats are beneficial, they should be consumed in moderation as they are high in calories. The key to a balanced diet is to find the right balance between healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and adapt it to the individual needs of each person.

Caring for your health starts with caring for your diet, so follow these tips and prepare a beneficial diet for yourself. Eating is a pleasure, but it’s also an act of care!