By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern
How much fat we should get in our diets has long been a debated topic. There was a time when it was thought that we should be eating very low-fat diets, but nowadays, certain diets like keto encourage a very high fat intake. And then some diets just keep a moderate balance between fats and the other two macronutrients. Regardless of what diet you follow, there are some basics to understand about the different kinds of fat, what it does for our bodies, and some good sources of these fats.
Not all fats are made the same. There are different kinds of fats, and each one comes with its own nutritional characteristics.
Saturated fat – This usually comes in the form of partially hydrogenated oils and is known to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Trans fat – Usually in solid forms, such as fat on meats, butter, and coconut oil.
Monounsaturated fat – Considered to be the most heart-healthy fat of the four, as it increases good cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fat – Contains omega-3s and omega-6s, which support heart health and mood, and also lower the risk of eye and cognitive diseases.
When we consume fats, there are many roles that it plays in our bodily functions. Fat provides energy, hormone and gene regulation, promotes brain function, aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and helps to feel full and satisfied after eating.
So, what are some healthy sources of fat we should incorporate into our diets? The following is a list of some great sources of fats.
- Olives and olive oil
- Oils – All kinds
- Whole-milk dairy products
Many of these healthy fat sources are ones that we produce right here in Arizona! Pork, beef, lamb, eggs, dairy, nuts, and olives are products that local farmers and ranchers grow here in the state! Make sure to look for Arizona-grown products the next time that you’re out grocery shopping, so you get healthy fat sources that are also fresh and locally grown!
For more health-related articles, or for more information on Arizona-grown products, check out the Fill Your Plate website!