A healthy diet consists not only of vitamins
With a balanced diet you take in the three macronutrients carbohydrates, protein and fat every day. Because fats have long been said to have an unhealthy effect, their intake has been reduced enormously for many people. However, the studies that led to this opinion have now been proven wrong.
Nowadays we know that healthy fats are important sources of energy. Only with their help can the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K be absorbed. In addition, they are stored in the subcutaneous fatty tissue and protect you there from cold and mechanical shocks. Good fats help athletes especially in building muscles, as they are responsible for the formation of testosterone.
An overview of fats
Not all fats are the same – they can be divided into saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids can be divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are formed from the generally known omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both are essential fatty acids, which means that they are vital for you and must be ingested through your diet.
Which fats are considered unhealthy?
Saturated fatty acids, such as those found in animal products and hydrogenated vegetable fat, have long been presented as harmful to health. New research has not been able to prove this, which means that industrially produced trans-fatty acids have become increasingly important as a cause of disease. These originally belong to the group of unsaturated fatty acids and arise when vegetable oils are hardened or heated to more than 130 degrees Celsius. After processing, however, they ultimately resemble saturated fatty acids in their composition. Not too good fats like these are found in frying fat, and thus in chips and potato chips, as well as in cakes, croissants, burgers, many ready meals and popcorn. Excessive intake is suspected to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease.
Good fats are those that promote your health by protecting organs and helping with vitamin intake. If we compare saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, the latter will always turn out to be good fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids are found mainly in avocados, olive, rapeseed and walnut oil, and cashew nuts. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids and are not produced by your body itself. By consuming foods such as cold-water fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines), walnuts, linseed and rapeseed oil, you are eating enough healthy fats. If you include unsaturated fatty acids in your diet, the following health effects may occur over time:
- – Increase in HDL (“good cholesterol”)
- – Reduction of LDL (“bad cholesterol”)
- – Inhibition of inflammatory processes
- – Risk reduction of cardiovascular diseases
- – Blood pressure regulation
Always make sure that you use mainly good fats with a high omega-3 content and at the same time control your omega-6 intake. Too much of this polyunsaturated fatty acid can lead to chronic inflammatory processes in your body. In this regard, avoid large amounts of grape, silica or sunflower oil.