Time to read 3 min
Time to read 3 min
Well, we hate to break it to you, but you're sorely mistaken!
But that doesn't mean that you can skip your next salad or chicken 'n' rice go-to in favour of a Large Chicken Big Mac Meal with an extra thick shake, oh no!
There are actually three different types of dietary fats, which each play a crucial role in your metabolism, body composition, and, importantly, endocrine health. See, fats, leading to cholesterol, are the precursors for your major sex hormones, which ultimately convert to testosterone and estrogen.
That means that low fat diets = low sex hormones, which means you're gonna have a bad time!
Read on to learn about the three different types of fats, where to get them from, and how much of each you should be having to maintain a healthy balanced diet!
Ah, Monounsaturated Fat... the "good guy"!
If you want to look at this simply, the bare minimum approach would be to simply increase your monounsaturated fat intake as much as possible while keeping your total fat intake the same.
Research has also shown that Monounsaturated Fats are perfect for keeping your blood sugar levels in line and promoting a healthy insulin response AND also assist in promoting healthy cholesterol levels. No heart disease, no worries!
Want a quick, easy, high protein and high monounsaturated fat lunch? Throw together a salad packed full of chicken breast, avocado, olive oil, macadamias, and pumpkin seeds. Yum!
Polyunsaturated Fat, also classified as another "healthy fat," is found abundantly in plants and fish.
Ever wondered why Fish Oil is such an important supplement staple? Yep, it's to boost the all-important intake of Omega 3s and Omega 6s, which are found in abundance in Polyunsaturated Fats!
Not only are they an incredible, natural anti-inflammatory, they've also been found to lower triglycerides and reduce blood pressure, two incredibly important health factors to keep in mind when maintaining a well-balanced diet!
While Polyunsaturated fats are great for lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels, the flipside is that in excess, Polyunsaturated fats may also lower the good kind of cholesterol. Fortunately, it's nothing major to worry about, and you'd have to be eating a SERIOUSLY large amount of almonds and peanuts (while consuming next to no saturated fats and monounsaturated fats) for this effect to kick in, so just keep it in the back of your mind!
Ahhh... sweet, delicious saturated fat.
While the research is in, and the controversy/stigma over saturated fat may have been a tad overhyped, it's still best to consume in moderation.
As with all fats, moderation is key, and eliminating saturated fat completely from your diet is far from a good idea! The problem is that in the past, saturated fats have been lumped in with trans fats, as the "bad guys" for causing obesity, heart disease and cardiovascular problems. While new studies are finding that the true culprits are actually trans fats and SUGAR, we're now seeing lots of research popping up on the health BENEFITS of consuming a healthy dose of saturated fat daily.
Organic grass-fed butter
Coconut oil and cream
Saturated fats are crucial to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels in the body, and therefore, hormone levels. Saturated fats also benefit your lungs, heart, brain, nerves, and liver, but only when consumed in moderation!
Try including a fatty meat source such as high-fat mince or lamb into your weekly meal plan, and never be afraid to cook with coconut oil to get those all-important saturated fats on the map, but under control.
The answer is that everybody is different. However, we wouldn't recommend consuming any less than 20% of your daily calorie intake from fat, as these low levels have been linked to various health and mood problems! Instead, balance your fat and carb intake in a manner that best suits you, your favourite foods, and your body composition. While some will respond best to 35%-40% of their daily intake from healthy fats, others will respond better to only 20%-25%.
Don't forget; fat is very calorie-dense (twice the calories of carbs and protein per gram), so make sure to track your macros when making room for some extra fatty goodness!