Many people hear the word fat and automatically assume the worst, but there are many foods that contain fat that are actually good for you. So how do you know which fats are best for your diet and overall health? Let’s break it down. Monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids are all considered to be healthy fats and can help you battle health issues like symptoms of low testosterone. Trans fat and saturated fat are both considered harmful and can contribute to health problems like heart disease, low testosterone levels, and depression.
- Monounsaturated fatty acids have been shown to improve cholesterol levels, decrease your risk of heart disease, and can be especially useful for people who have diabetes, as it can help control insulin levels. It’s also high in Vitamin E. Some foods that have high levels of monounsaturated fats include avocados, olive oil, peanut butter, and nuts.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids have many of the same benefits of monounsaturated fats, including a decreased risk of heart disease, improved cholesterol levels and it can also help reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. Two of the most important types of polyunsaturated fatty acids are omega-3s and omega-6s. Both of these contribute to brain function, and neither can be made by your body’s cells. Omega-3s are also good for your heart and can decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, salmon, and sesame oil. You can also take vitamin supplements to get more omega-3s in your diet, but these supplements aren’t as effective as getting omega-3s from food. Other foods like soybean oil and flaxseeds are also high in polyunsaturated fats but can also contribute to low testosterone symptoms in men so use with caution.
- Saturated fats are dangerous because they can raise your cholesterol levels, can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and may also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Many foods contain saturated fats, like pizza, ice cream, dairy, meats, baked goods and fried foods, and they may be hard to avoid. Here’s a tip to avoid saturated fats– when you’re craving a food that’s full of saturated fat, chew a stick of sugar-free gum, have a glass of water, or go for a short walk. It’ll provide a distraction from your craving and can help you maintain a healthy diet.
- Trans fats can be naturally occurring in foods like meat and dairy, but they are more commonly made by adding hydrogen to liquid oils to make them solids. Trans fats can be dangerous because they increase the harmful LDL cholesterol levels and decrease the good HDL cholesterol levels. They also increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and of developing type 2 diabetes. To avoid trans fats, use this tip – if the ingredients of a product list anything that’s “partially hydrogenated,” skip it. Partially hydrogenated is code for trans fat.
Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t easy. In fact, a recent study found that up to 95% of diets will fail. At Eternity Health, we want you to reach your health goals, and we’re here to help you with guidance, supplements, and tips for healthy living.