Contrary to popular belief that a fat-free diet is a healthy diet, it is actually proven that eating monounsaturated fat is very healthy and it should be included in every balanced diet. There is a way to consume fatty foods and be healthy: eat the right kinds of fat!
The Facts on Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats have been used to keep people healthy for centuries. A Mediterranean diet, which is very high in monounsaturated fats, has been proven very effective in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Throughout the world, many cultures have relied on monounsaturated fats to help stay healthy.
Monounsaturated fats have also been said to help fight many chronic diseases, as well as assist in keeping your skin and hair healthy.
Top 5 Monounsaturated Additions to Your Diet
1. Olive Oil
The cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been shown to provide protection against heart disease by lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol and raising HDL or “good” cholesterol. It contains more monounsaturated fats than any other naturally produced oil.
Almonds, macadamia, pistachio, and peanuts make an excellent snack on the go and are one of the top plant sources of protein. Additionally, they are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are high in fat and you should limit their consumption to one serving a day, but they should be included in any healthy diet.
These keep your skin looking great by stimulating collagen and improving overall skin texture. Additionally, they are packed with vitamin E.
High in iron, vitamin E and fiber, olives taste great and make a nice addition to many dishes. They are also great on their own!
Sesame and flaxseed oils have numerous health benefits. Flaxseeds are high in fiber and protein and have been shown to cure a long list of ailments and diseases. They also lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. Sesame oil is high in vitamin E, and it has been shown to lower cholesterol as well.
How Much Should You Eat?
As with anything you consume, it should be done in moderation. Though monounsaturated fats are healthy fats, this rule still applies. All fats have the same number of calories – 9 per gram – so just because they are healthy does not mean you should overindulge. Eating a balanced diet means you should not receive more than 25% to 30% of your total caloric intake from fats. To maintain health, this should ideally be divided between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with trans fats making up less than 1% of your daily intake.