Why Eating Fats Keeps You Healthy

What role do fats from food sources play in good health?

Fats are part of the three most vital nutrients necessary for sustaining human life. According to Deborah A. Klein, dietary fat is essential to good health. It is required for the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It helps maintain skin and hair and regulates body temperature, and it plays a role in the immune system. In short, we need fat in our foods but we need to choose them wisely.

Should I be eating all types of fat & in huge quantities?

Too much of anything can indeed be detrimental to one's health and that includes fat intake. Some fat sources are better for you than others. For example, trans fats and saturated fats are associated with coronary heart disease. According to Deborah A. Klein, these fats raise the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, in the bloodstream. Saturated fats are also implicated in atherosclerosis. An important study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 concluded that even at relatively low levels of consumption, trans fat is a macronutrient that most negatively affects heart health.

What healthy fats should I be consuming then?

Seeds and nuts, for example, are an example of healthy fats that appear to play a role in glycemic regulation as well as lowering LDL and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who eat nuts regularly have a lower risk of heart disease. Seeds and nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and fiber, and they are good sources of protein.

Other examples of fats include the following: 

  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Chestnuts
  • Coconut & Canola Oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp Seed Butter
  • Hummus
  • Olive and Olive Oil
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpskin Seeds
  • Red Wine
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts