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Why Adding Healthy Fats to Your Diet is a Good Thing

healthy fats are needed for a healthy body

Public domain image via Pixabay

Early this week I provided an overview of healthy fats. Now I’d like to talk about why being mindful of using healthy fats in your diet is a good idea.

You need to eat healthy fats to have a healthy functioning body. Dietary fat takes a predominant role in many bodily processes. Fats are integral in the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that regulate many body functions and directly regulate the production of the sex hormones. That is why you might have heard about very thin or malnourished women losing their menstrual cycles. Their bodies can’t produce the correct hormones needed for this important body function.

Healthy fats form the cell walls throughout our bodies. Healthy cell walls keep out invaders like viruses and bacteria. The nerves themselves are shielded with fat, called myelin, to speed up and contain the signals. Without this fat insulation, the signals dissipate, the electrical signals shooting out erratically, and you would behave like a jumpy, nervous person.

Two-thirds of the brain is of fat, specifically omega 3 and 6. We must obtain these essential fatty acids through food since we cannot manufacture them. The signals and memory function rely on fats for their very existence. This is one reason that low fat diets don’t work for more than a little while. Your body will develop functional problems because of the need for healthy fats. Your brain and body regulators become starved for healthy fats. Research is being done on this to see a connection in Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy fats also insulate our bodies with a thin layer just under the skin called subcutaneous fat. This gives our skin a soft, youthful appearance and the fatty acids keep our skin moist and supple. Many vitamins are fat soluble, so we need fats in our body to absorb A, D, E and K. Many of our organs are cushioned with fat and it helps hold our heart, kidneys and intestines in place and protects them. This protective fat is the last to be burned for fuel by the body. When we overeat and build up this visceral fat beyond what is needed, it is very hard to lose.

We need to eat fat to maintain the functioning of the body systems. While adding healthy fats to your diet, don’t forget that you must eat all fats in moderation. Fats have 9 calories as opposed to proteins and carbohydrates that have 4 calories. Too much fat can make you fat, so choosing healthy fats is not enough. Balance in your diet is still important to remain healthy overall.

Healthy Eating Worksheet

Take Charge of Your Health!

Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.

This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.