The Big 'Fat' Lie: What to Eat and Avoid

   |  Updated: January 30, 2015 12:27 IST

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The Big 'Fat' Lie: What to Eat and Avoid

For fitness fanatics, fat has always been considered as an enemy. But health experts will tell you otherwise. Fats are essential macro-nutrients as they form the basis of our metabolic functions. While most people try to attain their fitness dreams, they tend to forget that certain fats are crucial for our health.

(Eating Less and Still Putting on Weight?)

Here are five reasons why your body needs certain essential fats -

1. They coat the nerves and provide it a protective sheath (covering). If this covering is lost any virus can attack the nerves and destroy the nerve fibers.

2. Our brain matter is composed of a lot of fatty tissue. The nerve tissues in the brain make up for the amount of fat in the brain nerve cells.

3. Children, till the age of 5, need a good dose of fats and oils to develop a healthy brain structure.

4. Our immune system depends heavily on the production of the fighter cells and these in turn depend upon the healthy fatty acids in the body.

5. The fertility process requires healthy ovum (female) and healthy sperms (male). When there is a deficiency of essential fatty acids in the body, fertility suffers. Besides, this it can even affect the skin texture and condition.

Before you get down to chomping on your favourite bag of chips, here's a lowdown on the types of fats, the ones you should avoid and the ones that you shouldn't be afraid of.

(Big Fat Surprise - Butter and Cheese are Not Bad for You)

What to avoid?

Trans-Fats: They are the worst fats because they are unnatural and harmful for the body. Trans- fats are created in oil industries and the end product is unhealthy for the body. Trans-fats are used in all the ready-to-eat foods like chips, noodles, bakery products and pre-cooked meals.

Highly Refined Oils: Many oils are made from genetically modified seeds and plants, and not only that they are also super refined and processed to the point that they become unhealthy.

Most of the ready-to-drink coffee mixes and other breakfast cereals with pre-mixed creamers or dairy look-alikes have oils and fats of industrial variety.

Many desserts and ice-creams have industrial fats in them. Similarly, some of the pre-packaged mithais may have unhealthy ingredients and artificial oils.

(Some Fats Increase Metabolism: Study)

Healthy Fats and Oils

All natural fats and oils are essentially healthy for the body. Some of the top sources of healthy fats and oils are --

1. Walnuts and Flaxseeds: You must include these two in your daily diet. Walnuts in the winters and flaxseeds in the summers provide our body with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have the following benefits -

  • They help the body create an army of immune fighter cells
  • They provide healthy fats for the creation of nerve sheaths
  • They keep the blood pressure under control
  • They keep the blood vessels free from cholesterol deposits

2. Fatty fish: They provide the body with a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids for non- vegetarians.

3. Free Range Eggs: They are also a rich source of have essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Fermented soya products and sea based plants are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids .

5. Organic butter and ghee is also a good source of general fats.

6. Cold pressed oils like olive oil, mustard seed oil and other seed oils also provide general fatty acids which are healthy in nature. (Health Tip: Food Combinations For a Balanced Diet)

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