The number of calories we consume on a daily basis is of course very important, as consuming too many can lead to weight gain, whereas not enough could lead to severe weight loss, as well as a number of other health conditions in the process. That being said, however, where our calories come from is absolutely vital, as ensuring we are getting the right balance of macronutrients into our bodies on a daily basis is crucial. Macronutrients are basically made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and as you probably know, it is important that we ensure we are getting the right combination of these macros in order to benefit from optimal health and well-being. Many people however, are unfortunately not getting enough healthy fats for fear of gaining weight and suffering with cardiovascular health issues, yet ironically, by increasing their intakes of healthy fats, they can actually avoid the aforementioned issues. Fats, if consumed from the right sources, are incredibly healthy and beneficial for the human body, but what are some of the best fat sources currently available? Well, let’s take a more detailed look, shall we?
Avocado – Avocados are often called ‘nature’s butter’ because they are so rich and so creamy, so it’s hard to believe that something so decadent and so luxurious, could also be so healthy. Despite its amazingly rich and creamy texture however, avocado is not only considered one of the healthiest fat sources in the world, it is actually considered one of the healthiest food sources in the world, proving this small green fruit with superfood status. Per ounce, an avocado will provide more than 20 nutrients, including plenty of unsaturated fats, which have been proven to provide numerous cardiovascular benefits. Avocados are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus they also contain a great deal of dietary fiber, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and promote digestive health and nutrient uptake.
Whole Organic Eggs – Whole organic eggs, or free-range eggs if you can’t find organic, are also great sources of healthy fat, although you will need to consume the yolk in order to benefit from the healthy fats. Eggs are rich in protein, they are the only food stuff to boast a complete essential and non-essential amino acid profile, they contain minerals and B vitamins, plus the yolks are a great source of healthy fats that often provide essential omega 3 fatty acids as well. Egg yolks help to increase HDL cholesterol levels, and what’s more, they can also provide increases in energy and metabolic function as well, making them a great source of energy, especially for before exercise.
Grass-Fed Butter – For years upon years, people would avoid butter at all costs, and would instead use margarine, which was created to be a “healthy alternative” to butter. In reality however, and slightly ironically, margarine was found to be incredibly unhealthy and has been linked with an increase in heart attack rates, and with certain forms of cancer, whereas butter, especially natural grass-fed butter, has now been proven to be very beneficial. As they are grass-fed, the cows that produce the butter (from their milk) are much healthier because they get more nutrients from the grass, plus the grass hasn’t been grown using GMO ingredients. Grass-fed butter is rich in heart-healthy saturated fats that increase HDL cholesterol and help to lower LDL cholesterol, helping to keep the body energized and the heart healthy and well protected.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is made almost entirely of saturated fat, and before anybody starts panicking, it is worth knowing that many forms of natural saturated fat are very, very good for you, especially when it comes to keeping the heart nice and healthy. Coconuts are rich in medium chain triglycerides, and the fatty acids they contain are more than 90% saturated fats. MCTs are metabolized differently within the human body, as they make their way directly to the liver, where they are then converted into ketone bodies, which provide energy for the body, rather than simply being stored as body fat to be used at a later date. What’s more, MCTs help keep you feeling full for longer, so you actually consume less, and what’s more, consuming coconut oil on a daily basis, can lead to your metabolism burning off an extra 120 calories per day, so you will lose weight easier, and will have more energy.
Oily Fish – Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, are jam-packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, that the heart absolutely adores. Omega 3s lower harmful cholesterol level, they promote healthy vision, they lubricate the joints, they boost the metabolism, they improve major organ function, and they are amazing for the brain, helping to improve cognitive function and reduce conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression.