Most people today realize that eating fat does not necessarily make you fat. The days of the "no fat" diets are over, with the knowledge that healthy fats are essential for optimal health. Unhealthy fats such as those that are found in processed products like the trans fats in margarine and other packaged foods should be avoided as much as possible, but by adding healthy fats we can prevent cravings, stay fuller longer, balance blood sugar levels and more.
Start adding these wonderful oils to your diet on a daily basis as part of your path to overall better health.
Olive oil, preferably in the cold-pressed, organic version, provides nearly an endless number of health benefits. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this year found that a Mediterranean diet could prevent 30 percent of heart attacks, stroke and death – and not surprisingly, this diet is rich in olive oil.
Olive oil is packed with antioxidants and has the ability to boost the immune system, minimize cancer risk, and lower blood pressure in addition to being good for your heart and reducing obesity levels. Keep in mind that refined olive oils are not as healthy as they are heavily processed in order to withstand high temperatures. Extra virgin olive oils that are cold-pressed are the healthiest and wonderful used as a salad dressing.
Coconut oil received a bad rap for many years but it’s actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Its high saturated fat content was the reason behind its undeserved reputation, but in truth, it is a healthy saturated fat that comes in the form of lauric acid which serves to battle bacteria while improving cholesterol levels.
Coconut oil helps your body run smoothly and more efficiently, improve blood sugar levels, provide a boost to the metabolism as well as increase energy and endurance. The fats in coconut are unique. They are referred to as MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, and by breaking down these kinds of fats in the liver it leads to more efficient energy burning. While cold-pressed olive oil is unable to withstand high heat and should not be used for this purpose, coconut oil fits the bill perfect.
Sauté your vegetables in it, pan sear fish to add fabulous flavor, or use it as a substitute for vegetable oil in baking.
Flaxseed has been used since ancient times as a healing herb. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients that the body needs in order to function properly. 57 percent of the total fatty acids in flax are alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, making it the very best source of ALA. Studies have shown that those who eat a diet rich in ALA are less likely to suffer from heart related ailments, including heart attacks.
Flax oil serves to protect the membranes of our cells by allowing the healthy substances in and keeping dangerous toxins out. It is also said to reduce cancer risk, assist the body in burning fat and even promote more lustrous, healthy hair, skin and nails.
Organic, cold-pressed flax oil can be used by drizzling it on steamed vegetables, salads or even as an addition to a smoothie.