Fat has an important role to play in the smooth functioning of body just like how protein is important for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy and vitamins and minerals for other nutrition. The minimum requirement of essential fat for men is 2-5% and women is 10-12%, anything below which physical and psychological health would be effected. When one consumes fat more than the daily requirement it then it gets stored in the belly, thighs and all over the body. Fat helps in healthy cell function and keeps the skin healthy and stores energy in the body and provides 9 calories per 1 gm of fat.
Essential fat is required for brain functioning, bone marrows, central nervous system muscles and healthy functioning of the body
It provides cushion to internal organs of the chest and abdomen. These essential fats are often confused with the bad fats that increase the LDL bad Cholesterol. Essential fats actually increase the HDL good cholesterol levels improving heart health and improves the flow of blood in the arteries.
Here is a list of fatty foods for good health:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The omega 3 fatty acids in fish helps lower triglyceride levels and reduces blood clotting and improves the blood flow suggests a study. This improves the heart health and increases the HDL levels. For vegetarians and non fish eaters walnuts, flaxseeds, green vegetables and soy foods are the other rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds provide the body with good fat and increase the HDL levels preventing the body from heart problems. Along with fat they also provide with other essential nutrients for the body.
- Cheese: Not only will it give you health benefits but a change of taste to your buds. It gives a feeling of fullness as it contains protein and fat and the when eaten in moderation shows no effect on LDL levels and keeps the body healthy. Cottage cheese can be another option with its health benefits.
- Coconut: Coconut is nutritious and also provides the body with fiber, vitamins and minerals. It improves heart health raising the HDL levels although it increases the LDL levels but less than the good cholesterol improving heart health and reducing the blockages in the arteries. The lauric acid present in it raises the good cholesterol even more.
- Cashew Nuts: Cashew nuts don't increase the blood cholesterol levels and contains important vitamins and minerals for good heath. The fat in cashew nuts increase the HDL levels and keeps good heart health. It has protein in it and provides with energy to the body.
- Eggs: Many of us have the perception of eggs as fattening and increase the cholesterol levels in the body. It provides with essential vitamins and minerals and when had for breakfast keeps you feeling fuller for a longer time. 2 whole eggs would keep you on a healthy track.
- Avoid transfat and hygrogenated foods: To improve the heart health and raise the HDL levels reduce eating white sugar, white bread, refined flour and sweets and candies. Not eating these products will improve the heart health.
Eating healthy fat is important for the body as it helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body like A, D, E, and K. The carotenoids present in colorful veggies are important antioxidants to fight diseases which can not be absorbed by the body without fat. Lastly a note of precaution the range listed above is very general and differs from one individual to the other.