Fats are making a comeback after finally shedding their ‘bad’ image of foods that promote heart attacks. People are increasingly incorporating grass-fed ghee, coconut oil, all sort of nut butters in their diet as they recognize their benefits.
Interestingly, it is not just about eating fats but also taking care of the quality of fat we let inside our body that is making a comeback now.
Recommended Fat Intake
As per the American Heart Association, adults should limit dietary fat to around 20 to 35 percent of their total calorie intake per day. For example, for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 400 to 700 calories can come from dietary fat, which means 44 to 78 fat grams a day.
Why should we eat fats?
If you think eating fats is bad, take a look at the following:
• Fats are a major fuel source for your body and the main way through which you store energy.
• Fat is a source of essential fatty acids that your body cannot make on its own.
• Fats help you absorb certain nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) and antioxidants (like lycopene and beta-carotene).
• Omega-3 fats are vital for the optimum functioning of nerves, the brain, and the heart.
Interestingly, eating fat won’t essentially make you fat. Although it does have more calories per gram than carbohydrate and protein, fat makes food more flavorful and satiating, meaning you don’t need much to feel content.
Benefits of 100% Grass-Fed Ghee
The benefits of Grass-Fed Ghee or Butter depend on the source of the cows’ diet.
Cows that grow up on fresh vegetation will produce milk and milk products that are more nutritious to us. The ghee from a 100% grass-fed cow’s milk will be superior to any other ghee. It contains much higher levels of Vitamin K2 – a nutrient that is extremely vital for heart health. Also, it comes with higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – a naturally occurring, good trans-fat that’s linked to positive health effects like better heart health and tumor suppression. Did you know that there are higher levels of Vitamin A and Carotene in grass-fed ghee and butter?
Advantages of eating ‘healthy’ fats
Before stating the benefits of eating healthy fats, let us first understand what healthy fats are. There are mainly two types of healthy fats: Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats. What makes them healthy is the fact that (among other heart-health benefits) they help reduce LDL cholesterol – it is the kind that can block our arteries. Research further shows these ‘healthy fats’ can benefit insulin and blood sugar levels, decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes too.
Sources of Healthy Fats
We have now understood that there are ‘healthy fats’ that do us a lot of good. Here a few sources of ‘good fats’ that we can incorporate in our diet every day:
• Walnuts are one of the few foods that have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – a kind of omega-3 fat that is known to protect one against heart disease.
• The main fatty acid in avocados is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid that is associated with various health benefits. Moreover, they’re a great source of fiber and studies have suggested that they can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil is full of vitamins E and K, and is packed with powerful antioxidants. A few of these antioxidants are capable of fighting inflammation and preventing the LDL particles in the blood from oxidizing. EVOO also lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol markers, and helps alleviate heart disease risk.
• Coconut and coconut oil are known to be very rich in medium-chain fatty acids – that are metabolized differently from other fats. They boost fat burning and provide several health benefits.
• Flaxseed is rich in the plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acids known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that promotes heart health by improving blood pressure.
• Almonds are predominantly rich in monounsaturated fat – which, as we know, helps improve our cholesterol levels.