When they recommend an eating plan to Improve Health, regardless of whether it is to lose weight or because you have a cardiovascular problem or high cholesterol, that does not include oil or fat in its indications, it is better that you do not follow it. Fats are as necessary in human life as proteins and carbohydrates.
To follow a healthy diet you must moderate your fat intake, but above all correctly differentiate which are harmful to avoid them and which are beneficial to include them.
Cholesterol: it is present only in foods of animal origin. Its excessive consumption can affect blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Example: milk, cheese, the fat of meats, etc.
Saturated fat: it is present in some foods, preferably of animal origin, in vegetable oils or in improperly used or reused oils. Coconut oil, butters, some butter
Polyunsaturated fat: it is present in vegetable oils such as soy, canola, and sunflower. Its consumption should be moderate. Also, it can be found in fish. Omega 6 and 3 belong to this group.
Monounsaturated fats: it is present in vegetable oils such as olive oil or in peanuts, walnuts, and avocado. We should preferably use this type of oil in our diet. Omega 9
Fats should be in your diet for several reasons:
- They are a source of energy. Each gram of fat that you consume provides you with 9 calories.
- They are part of the cell. Lipids or fats are present in the cell membrane to protect them from aggressions.
- They are sources of essential fatty acids, which help us to produce sex hormones, maintain the texture of the skin and hair.
- They are a vehicle for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K.
What happens when we do not consume good fats?
The quick answer is: every part of the body gradually deteriorates and is ruined. No cell, tissue, gland, or organ can function normally without them. The effects: dry skin, low energy levels, hair loss, poor nail growth, deterioration of the liver and kidneys, changes in behavior due to deterioration of the brain, the glands become dry, the immune system deteriorates causing more infections , there is a slower recovery from wounds and an increased risk of cancer and stunted growth in children.
Consume animal fat in minimal amounts, which is usually solid at room temperature. Increases cholesterol levels in the blood. Plant-based fat is usually liquid at room temperature and helps to improve blood fat levels when its consumption is adequate.
Do you know how much fat you need?
During pregnancy and lactation, the requirements of essential fatty acids are increased and it is important to consume those oils that have an adequate proportion of omegas. These fatty acids will promote adequate absorption of essential vitamins for the baby, such as vitamin A and provide essential fatty acids for brain formation and proper visual development.
During adulthood, fat consumption is required between 25 to 30% of the total caloric value; this is roughly 50 to 60 grams of fat per day and should be 7% saturated 10% polyunsaturated, and 13% monounsaturated. At this stage it is important to properly select the type of oils to prevent and / or treat some diseases such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
In menopause, it is advisable to modify your total fat intake to less than 30% of total calories, especially saturated fat of animal origin. In this way, it will be possible not only to control weight, but also to control cholesterol levels. Eat vegetable oils with an adequate percentage of omega 6 and 9, enrich your diet with fish (blue and white): it will provide you with essential fatty acids from the omega 3 series, very useful in the prevention and coadjutant treatment of some cardiovascular diseases.
What should you look at when buying an oil or margarine?
Look at the label, ingredients, and nutritional chart. In the list of ingredients we find the source of the oil and the fatty acids: we can distinguish if it is soy, canola, sunflower and olive. In the nutritional table you should check that it has a lower proportion of saturated fat and more of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated, that it is free of Trans fat and that it does not have cholesterol. You can choose those that have vitamin E and A, these contain more antioxidants.
In addition to all these benefits, you can keep them warm at low temperatures, do not let it burn, do not add water or food with ice and water (this causes the fat to become hydrogenated and saturated). On the other hand, in the case of margarines, you should avoid burning, always melt them at low temperatures.
Finally, remember that you should use 5 to 6 tablespoons of oil or margarines per day to achieve the right amounts of fat per day.