More and more often when it comes to fats , a negative conception is used. But, we’re actually making a big mistake. In fact, not all fats are to be considered as a danger to the health of the organism. It is therefore important to make a clear distinction between good fats and bad fats . The former are extremely useful to the body and can be taken as nutrients. The latter, on the other hand, are harmful especially if taken over time. Knowing the difference between the types of fats and knowing how to distinguish them, turns out to be essential for living in a healthy way, with a varied and balanced diet, without renouncing to consume foods with a lipid content.

Because our body needs fats
Despite what one might think, fats are also part of the macronutrient category and should never be lacking in a well-balanced diet. They are often portrayed as unhealthy elements, but good fats , or rather lipids, help maintain an excellent level of general health and well-being. Just like proteins and carbohydrates, fats also play a fundamental role in our diet and act as fuel for the body’s vital activities. In fact, fats represent the nutrients with the highest caloric and energy density of our diet, providing 9 calories per gram. This makes them a key element in the body’s energy process. Furthermore, fats are also involved in various processes in the body, such as:

  • The transport of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) that require fat to be able to dissolve in the blood and provide the nutrients necessary for the body’s needs.
  • The structural support of the organism , being present in the cell and brain membranes.
  • Involvement in biological processes in the body, such as chemical reactions related to skeletal muscle growth and development.

So while some diets promote a low-fat diet, they are actually essential to our survival and are a vital component of a healthy diet. Obviously it is necessary to select the good fats and consume them in a measured way to the daily requirement.

Good fats: what they are and how to distinguish them
Unsaturated fatty acids are considered good fats to be included in our diet, as they do not make you fat and promote well-being at 360 degrees. They are recommended for a healthy diet and, consumed in moderation, bring benefits to the body without any risk. In turn, they are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats .

Monounsaturated fats
This type of healthy fats is present in various foods and oils and their consumption has been shown to increase the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. They are mainly contained in nuts, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts, in vegetable oils such as olive or peanut, peanut butter, almond butter and avocado.

Polyunsaturated fats Polyunsaturated
fatsinstead, they are also known as essential fats, as the body is unable to produce them independently and therefore needs to be introduced into the body through food. Polyunsaturated fats are also perfect for preventing the risk of cardiovascular problems and are able to lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood . The main sources of these good fats are oils and, more generally, plant-based foods.

The perfect balance between omega-3 and omega-6
Among the polyunsaturated fats with exceptional beneficial qualities, there are omega-3 and omega-6 . Both play a vital role in the formation of cell membranes. In particular, the former are useful from gestation, for the correct development of the baby’s cardiovascular system, brain and eyes. They are also used to protect the cardiovascular system , the functioning of the nervous system and sight.
Omega-6, on the other hand, are the main components of cell membranes and are therefore necessary for the proper functioning of all tissues . Furthermore, these fats are essential for growth as well as for brain development; not surprisingly, breast milk is extremely rich in it. Despite providing different benefits, excessive consumption of omega 6 is harmful to health as it increases the pro-inflammatory, pro-aggregating activity and leads to an increased risk of onset of cardiovascular, chronic-degenerative and metabolic diseases.
The correct balance between omega-6 and omega-3 therefore plays a decisive role in maintaining the general well-being of the organism. As reported by INRAN (National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition), to maintain the correct functioning of our body, the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3must be less than or equal to four. This means that for every four grams of omega-6, at least one gram of omega-3 should be consumed to restore the body’s healthy balance.

How to prevent a lack of good fats in our diet
To prevent the lack of so-called ” good fats ” in our body, it is necessary to introduce foods rich in the nutrients mentioned above. Vegetable fats, such as olive oil, sunflower or peanut oil, are therefore to be preferred, combined with the consumption of dried fruit and fish, especially the blue one.
A further solution to assimilate unsaturated fats and in particular omega-3 and the intake of natural food supplementswhich compensate for the lack of good fats in our body. Thanks to the introduction of fats, we can have a perfect intestinal transit, a strong immune system, high levels of satiety and a high ability to metabolize the same fats at the expense of sugars. Although these measures are very useful for improving one’s health, it remains essential to combine adequate physical activity that supports the metabolism and stimulates the production of active hormones.

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