There are so many nutrition plans out there that promise big results in regards to weight loss and energy that it is hard to know which one to follow. Followers of the Paleo movement eat very differently than those who choose a vegan path, while gluten-free folks may find the suggestion of “eat more whole grains” difficult to fathom.
There are calorie counters, carbohydrate counters, unlimited plans that do not focus on calories, and food elimination plans. Regardless of which plan works best for your body, do not forget to eat your healthy fats. Your body needs them.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, it was widely believed in the fitness and nutrition industry that fat was bad, which led to the boom of low-fat or no-fat foods. Suddenly everything from milk to yogurt, ice cream to cookies could magically be made “low fat” or “fat free.”
Some fats are not good for you such as trans fats as these are synthetic. They are commonly found in hydrogenated oils. However other fats, such as saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats have a beneficial place in your diet in moderation.
Polyunsaturated oils come in two forms: omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Typically, too much of omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation while omega-3 fatty acids are considered anti-inflammatory. However both in balance are necessary for health.
Omega-6 fats are found in soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil while omega-3 fats are found in foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds and fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, trout and herring).
Monounsaturated fats are commonly found in olive oil, seeds, and avocados, as well as nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts. These fats are helpful in lowering bad cholesterol, skin health, and improving brain function as the brain is made up of a lot of fat.
Within these types of fats, there are bad options and better options to choose from when creating a meal plan.