The popularity of low calorie diets and calorie counting techniques has led many people to think that fats are dangerous to health. And while some varieties can indeed be harmful, in general, fats do not deserve such treatment.
Why should we include fats in our diet, and which ones are good for you?
Fat is our friend!
The first thing to remember when compiling a diet, fat is our friend, not enemy. If fats are not put on a plate, a person can die.
“Fat is an important macronutrient that performs many functions in the body,” explains MD, nutritionist Amanda Holzer. “This means that if you deprive yourself of dietary fat, you can disrupt the body and cause serious harm to your health.”
The recommended daily intake of fat is 20 to 35% of the total calories that come into the body with food.
“So, if a person receives 2,000 kilocalories from food daily, 400 to 700 kcal of them should come from fat, which is equal to 44 to 77 grams of fat, respectively,” adds the nutritionist. Amanda Holzer.
But it is worth noting that not all fats are suitable for the body. Trans fats are dangerous to health and should be avoided. These fats are found in fast food and processed foods. And the amount of saturated fat must be carefully monitored.
“We should aim for saturated fat to be no more than 10% of total fat intake. The vast majority of calories from fats should be mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, ”says the nutritionist. Amanda Holzer.
On a note!
Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy. Studies have shown that they are useful for the nervous and cardiovascular systems, help a person maintain a healthy weight and prevent the development of many diseases.
Sources of such fats are natural vegetable oils, seeds and nuts, fatty sports fish, avocados, eggs.
Signs that you are eating low fat
Considering that healthy fats are very important for human health and beauty, it is not surprising that their deficiency immediately affects well-being.
What indicates a lack of fat in the diet?
Sign 1: You are hungry all the time
Frequent bouts of hunger are an eloquent sign that you are going in the wrong direction. The fact is that fats play an important role in maintaining a feeling of satiety. The body needs more time to digest them, so a person does not feel hungry longer.
Eliminating fats from the diet or severely limiting them in the menu will lead to a feeling of hunger almost immediately after a meal.
Sign 2: Every day you are exhausted.
If by the end of the working day it seems that there is no strength even to get home, perhaps the wrong diet is to blame.
Fat provides the body with long-term energy. “One gram of fat contains 9 kilocalories. By comparison, this is more than twice the amount of calories that come from one gram of protein and carbohydrates,” explains the nutritionist. Amanda Holzer.
People who eliminate fats from their diet significantly reduce the number of calories on the menu, hence the low battery charge and lack of energy in the middle of the day.
Sign 3: Your joints are cracking
If the joints creak when walking or any, even the slightest movement, the lack of fats in the menu may be to blame.
“This is because inflammation in the body is one of the main causes of joint pain,” says the nutritionist. Amanda Holzer. “Some types of fats, such as omega‑3 fatty acids, can reduce inflammation in the body and improve joint health.”
On a note!
Walnuts, hemp seed, fish oil, salmon, trout, herring, cod liver, rapeseed, olive and other oils are considered a storehouse of useful Omega‑3 fatty acids.
Sign 4: You get sick more often
Those who often complain of nausea or respiratory viral diseases should definitely review their menu. Perhaps there is not enough fatty foods in the diet.
Fats are needed for the absorption of a whole group of fat-soluble vitamins. If they are not enough in the diet, the body cannot fully assimilate valuable substances, which can lead to their deficiency. And without the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals, the body becomes more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, which leads to an increase in the number of diseases.
Sign 5: You can’t concentrate
The human brain is 60% fat. Naturally, the brain needs fat to function properly.
If a person’s diet lacks fat, he will experience difficulty with attention and concentration, memory. Studies have also shown that consumption of foods rich in omega‑3 fatty acids is associated with a reduced risk of developing psychiatric disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.
Sign 6: Your skin is dry and flaky
Certain fats play an important role in maintaining the appearance of the skin. Their lack leads to a feeling of dryness, a decrease in elasticity. In addition, with a lack of fat, the level of inflammation in the body can increase, as a result — the occurrence of acne.
Therefore, anyone who wants to have smooth, radiant and clear skin should monitor the level of healthy fats in the body.
Did you know?
Skin needs three types of fats to be healthy – omega‑3, ‑6 and ‑9 fatty acids. They support the lipid barrier of the skin, stimulate cell renewal and help prolong youth. Omegas can be found in dietary supplements or present in cosmetics.
Sign 7: Your hair is falling out
Dryness and brittle hair, as well as thinning hair, can indicate a lack of fat. Like the rest of the body, hair and scalp need certain nutrients to stay strong and healthy. If they do not get what they need, their condition worsens — the scalp becomes inflamed, and the strands thin.
Adding healthy fats to your menu can alleviate this problem.
Sign 8: You have irregular periods
Fats are necessary for the human body, including for the production of hormones. If there is not enough fat mass in the body, and this often happens when a person refuses fat, hormonal imbalances are possible.
“Hormonal imbalances can cause menstrual irregularities,” nutritionist warns Amanda Holzer.
On a note!
Scientists have determined the minimum percentage of body fat at which a person will be healthy. For men, this is 3–5%, and for women — twice as much — 8–13%.
How to get fat into your diet
Those who adhere to a healthy balanced diet do not have to worry about fats in the diet. Together with healthy food, they come in the right amount, since many foods contain valuable fats.
Everyone else should adjust their menu, following the recommendations:
- Eat oily fish 1–2 times a week.
- Avoid mayonnaise. Prepare healthy dressings from vegetable oils.
- Snack on nuts or seeds daily. Add them to smoothies and cereals, a morning serving of yogurt.
- Add avocados to your diet. Its puree can be used instead of mayonnaise.
- Don’t be afraid to eat healthy fats.