Good fats are almost an oxymoron in our society, but a little bit of nutritional research quickly reveals that your body needs fat to survive and some fats are much better than others. Trans fats and saturated fats are the “bad” fats, those that promote clogged arteries, obesity and heart disease. Unsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids, however, are the “good” fats. Good fats typically come from plant sources and are helpful for reducing cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The body produces a small amount of dietary cholesterol and absorbs cholesterol from any animal protein we consume. The body makes exactly what it needs and any of the excess we eat gets stored. When we eat too much of it over time, it increases plaque in our arteries. Arterial plaque can lead to deadly heart attacks and strokes.
Healthy fats often come from plant-based foods, such as olives, peanuts, tree nuts, flaxseed, whole grains, chia, hemp and avocados. Most fish also offer up a good serving of healthy fats. Healthy fats are most recognizable by their ability to stay liquid at room temperature. The good fats help lower cholesterol levels and have so many health benefits that it’s hard to list them all here. Omega-3 alone aids in reducing cholesterol, promoting brain health, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation… not to mention that it promotes healthy skin, nails and hair (we’ll call that an added bonus).
Choosing to eat more whole grains and avoiding foods with trans fats and those heavy in saturated fats is not exactly new health advice, but we all need a reminder once in a while. This month, through our website, we have many of our oat products along with Flaxseed Meal on special. Next month, we’re placing some of our best sources of healthy fats on special- so keep your eyes on the Monthly Specials section to stock up and save!