A way of simply explaining fats is that they are just concentrated forms of energy. Fats are helpful to the body in that they help in the protection of the tissues, and its functions. Saturated and Unsaturated fats are the two main types of fats, and they are divided into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These two types are different from one another.
One of the main types of fats is monounsaturated fat, also known as oleic acid. This type of fat is actually beneficial to your body. It raises the good cholesterol, and lowers the bad; it contains vitamins and minerals, which are extremely helpful to many parts of the body and its functions.
What Is Monounsaturated Fat?
Monounsaturated fats are Good fats. They, unlike other fats, such as saturated fats, trans-fats or omega6 polyunsaturated vegetable fats, are actually beneficial to the body. Monounsaturated fats are actually the healthiest form of fats, and they do not have any negative side effects.
- Lower risks of contracting diseases
The risk of heart disease is lowered, because monounsaturated fats raise the good cholesterol (HDL) levels, whereas the bad cholesterol (LDL) is lowered. The use of olive oil is much healthier than some other choices, and that can contribute to the reason why the people of the Mediterranean region have a less of a risk of heart disease than many other areas of the world. Cancer is another disease that monounsaturated fat affects, such as breast and colon cancer.
- Provide vitamin E
Monounsaturated fats contain a high level of vitamin E, and since there are so many people in the U.S. that have a deficiency of vitamin, it seems like this is an easy fix. The encouragement of consuming foods that contain monounsaturated fats is so important. Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant, helps to destroy harmful free radicals that are formed during metabolism and they support growth and development of your body cells.
- Lose belly fat
More belly fat is lost when monounsaturated fat is consumed. So switch to or stick with monounsaturated fat.
Good Sources of Monounsaturated Fat
Using oils, which are high in monounsaturated fat, need to be used due to the many benefits they have. A woman needs around 26 grams of monounsaturated fat a day, whereas a man requires 34 grams each day, but it is important to be aware that cooking foods destroys a large amount of the benefits that come from monounsaturated fats, so salads, raw veggies and nuts are good to eat.
When choosing oil, stop for a moment and think, there are many oils that contain monounsaturated fat, which is a healthier choice. Oils that are healthier are olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, hazelnut oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and other oils, such as almond, peanut, corn, sesame, rice bran, soybean and cod liver oils.
Great news, they are a variety of nuts that contain monounsaturated fats. You can just munch on them while watching television, put out when guests visit and add to some of your favorite dishes (including, cookies and brownies). These nuts include hazelnuts (or filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios and cashews. This also means that spreads that are made with these nuts or butters from them are also rich in this healthier fat.
Seeds, fruits and legumes
There are seeds, such as sesame, pumpkin, flaxseeds and sunflower, that are rich in monounsaturated fat, which means sesame seed butter (tahini), sunflower seed butter, and pumpkin pie can all be added to the shopping list. As far as fruits go, olives and avocados are the only ones that fall in this category. Every 100-gram serving, provides 10 grams of this type of fat. Legumes include peanuts, which are extremely high in monounsaturated fats. So of course, peanut butter is on the list too.
Take avocado for example: Avocados are not just for guacamole anymore. Avocados can be added to so many different dishes, such as pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and simply as a quick snack. Whether you are home or running around doing errands etc., a sliced avocado with your choice of a seasoning or just plain, can make a delicious snack.
There are fish that contain monounsaturated fats, such as halibut, sable, mackerel and Atlantic pickled herring, and other fish can contain polyunsaturated fat, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
Take Salmon for example: Salmon is highly recognized as ‘a healthy fish’. Salmon is said to help with several health benefits, such as depression, PMS, children’s development and diabetic’s insulin function. This is all in addition the help in heart health.
There are some other foods that can offer a rich supply of monounsaturated fats. Some examples of these include the following:
- Ready-to-eat granola
- Dark chocolate
- Roquefort cheese
- Muenster cheese
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Cheshire cheese
- Cream cheese
- Limburger cheese
Take dark chocolate for example: Dark chocolate has benefits that milk and white chocolate do not have. The fat content in dark chocolate is about one third monounsaturated fat. It also contains a large amount of flavanoids, which help to protect the cells in your body free from radical damage and they also will help to lower your blood pressure. So believe it in moderation dark chocolate is actually healthy for you, and they also contain some type of property, which elevates your mood.
Remember, moderation is key. Just because a food is rich in monounsaturated fat, doesn’t give you the right to binge. Of your daily calorie intake, 25-30% should be your monounsaturated fat content. Moderation goes for all foods, which is that all foods in moderation are all right, but overeating any food is not healthy. Overall, limit the amount of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats should not exceed the 25-30% of you daily calorie intake.