Consume Healthy Fats To Protect Your Heart
Despite fat has gotten not a good reputation for its suspected role in causing heart disease, specialists show that healthy fats actually decrease your possibility for conditions like coronary artery disease and heart attack.
In a recent analysis published by the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, Dr. Georg Hoffmann and Dr. Lukas Schwingshackl tested 32 previously published research studies and concluded that people who consumed the highest amount of monounsaturated fat, especially oleic acid, most notably found in olive oil, were 12 percent less likely to create heart disease. Another test, conducted by a team led by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, found that those who eat up the most polyunsaturated fat had a 19 percent lower incidence of heart disease.
What exactly are healthy fats?
Not all fats are made equal when it comes to their healthiness. So which fats are ok for you and what specifically do they do for the body? This is all you need to know.
Fat isn’t a unique nutrient. According to WebMD, dietary fat can be separated into four broad categories:
- Trans fats.
There are a lot of different individual fatty acids within each category; all fats are composed of carbon chains molecules bonded to hydrogen molecules and it’s the length and form of these carbon chains and how the hydrogen molecules are added that gives fats their different properties.
The American Heart Association signed out that there are small amounts of naturally occurring trans fats in some dairy products, and meat, but it is not clear if these natural trans fats have the same negative health impacts as industrially made trans fats.
Harvard Medical School cataloged monounsaturated fats -as found in avocados and olive oil- and polyunsaturated fats -as found in flaxseeds and salmon- as the healthiest fats to consume. In spite of their bad reputation, some saturated fats may be healthy if they are eaten in the correct portions. On the other hand, artificial trans fats “in the form of hydrogenated vegetable oils”, however, have been associated with a number of health conditions and should be avoided.
Consume healthy fats as an important source of vitality
As with any other macronutrient, your body creates dietary fat into energy that fuels your cells. But unlike the other macronutrients, which provide four calories per gram, fat provides nine calories per gram. Your body uses these calories to provide you will the energy you need for life.
Although fats are an excellent source of energy, Medical News Today advised focusing more on protein and carbs prior to a workout, as fat is consumed more slowly than carbohydrates or protein and won’t give the quick power boost you need.
Nevertheless, exponents of the popular ketogenic (keto) diet argue that fat is the preferred source of energy for the body. As Dr. Thomas M. Campbell, medical director of the Highland Weight Management & Lifestyle Center, exposed in an interview with the University of Rochester Medical Center, “The ketogenic diet … is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet. Its plan is to get the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates, putting it into a metabolic state known as ketosis.” Campbell advised that while this diet strategy may have benefits in less time, whether it’s healthy and sustainable in the long term it is not clear.
Fight against depression with the help of healthy fats
Talking about depression, omega-3s could be the most beneficial polyunsaturated fats. An analysis led by Dr. Yuhua Liao and published in Translational Psychiatry examined 26 studies and concluded that supplements containing at least 60 percent eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) showed clinical confirmation of improving depression symptoms.
Interestingly, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), another omega-3, presented no benefits. Nonetheless, if you’re dealing with depression, no amount of fat — regardless of how healthy it is — should take the place of professional assistance or antidepressant medication.
If you’re one of the 17.3 million Americans who’ve passed through at least one episode of major depression, putting more healthy fats into your diet may help prevent future depressive chapters or, at least, symptoms easier to control.
A study known as the SUN Project determined the relationship between dietary fat and depression. The researchers followed more than 12,000 candidates for 12 years and determined that while greater trans fat intake increased risk for depression, higher monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat intake decreased the risk. They admitted, although, that the association between monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and decreased risk for depression was not strong.