In a world, full of people obsessed with dieting and weight loss, saying the word “fat” can cause them to run for the hills. However, what many people do not realize is that fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, are essential for optimal health. When eaten in moderation, they can actually aid in weight loss along with lowering the risk of heart disease, boost mood and reduce inflammation.
Polyunsaturated fats are considered to be the healthy fats as opposed to trans and saturated fats. You can consume polyunsaturated fats through many different sources of animal and plant foods. Some of the most common sources are olive oil, fish, and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats are similar to that of monounsaturated fats.
So, before you throw fats out of your vocabulary entirely, take a look at these little-known benefits of polyunsaturated fats.
- Lowers Your Risk for Heart Disease
Your heart functions properly when you have even and steady blood flow. If you have clogged arteries, which are your blood vessels, this will result in high levels of LDL cholesterol. Consuming polyunsaturated fats helps you to lower your levels of LDL cholesterol, thus keeping your heart healthy. Heart disease is an epidemic for both men and women, keeping your heart healthy can be accomplished by practicing a diet that includes polyunsaturated fats.
- Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
One of the important components of an overall healthy body is a brain that functions well and cellular production. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are vital in keeping these two components healthy. Our bodies are physically unable to produce omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This is why we must ingest them. They are also beneficial in lowering blood pressure, reducing plaque in your arteries, regulating your blood sugar and reducing your risk for diabetes.
Did you know: Too much omega 6 fatty acids will actually CAUSE inflammation? The human body needs a ratio of 2:1, a typical American ratio, because of our poor diets, is 20:1.
- Mentally Boost Your Mood and Lose Weight
Besides the physical benefit that polyunsaturated fats can give you, it can also help with boosting your mood and alleviating depression symptoms. Because of the components of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it helps with keeping a brain functioning properly. Studies have shown that participants who consumed more polyunsaturated fats have a lower risk of experiencing depression symptoms as well as symptoms associated with ADHD. Research has also proven that it can aid in lowering anger levels and increase your body’s metabolism, even at rest. So, it can help with weight loss as your body burns calories. Plus, polyunsaturated fats are not considered to be empty calories. You will feel fuller, longer, helping you to not overeat.
Related Article: 7 Ways Omega 3’s Slow the Effects of Aging
- Reduce Inflammation
Polyunsaturated fats also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with a number of symptoms in your body. Inflammation can form in a variety of ways all over your body. It can affect the way you feel and be extremely uncomfortable. Such inflammatory symptoms include:
- Muscle cramps and pain
- Auto-immune diseases
- Indigestion or gut issues
- Bruising and swelling
- Joint pain or swelling
- Skin rashes
- Fever and/or chills
The American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume polyunsaturated fats in their daily diets. Of course, this should be done in moderation. It is also important to remember that polyunsaturated fats cannot be produced by your own body. Some of the recommended sources are salmon, walnuts, almonds, seeds, extra virgin olive oil or supplements.
In conclusion, do not be afraid of fats. There are particular fats that are not only good for you but are essential to providing health benefits to your heart and your brain. Increasing your amount of polyunsaturated fats will be beneficial to your overall health.