Monounsaturated fats: How can they benefit you
Monounsaturated fats are considered a good type of fats. They include palmitoleic and cis-vaccenic acid which are omega 7 fatty acids as well as oleic acid acid which is omega 9 fatty acid. While scientist agree that they decrease LDL cholesterol, they are not so sure about their effect on HDL cholesterol.
Although it is generally accepted the belief that it raises HDL cholesterol some studies say that it can actually decrease HDL cholesterol.
This is due to slightly different chemical composition and the effect of these three types of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Sources of monounsaturated fatty acids includes milk products, olives, oatmeal, whole grain bread, avocado, sunflower oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, popcorns, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, sesame seed, corn and even red meat.
Macadamia oil, animal and vegetable oils are rich sources of palmitoleic acid while Sea Buckthorn oil is the richest source of palmitoleic and cis-vaccenic acid.
Olive oil is the best source of oleic acid of the ones stated above.
BENEFITS OF MONOUNSATURATED FATSDecrease LDL cholesterolHelp in weight lossMost studies suggest positive influence on HDL cholesterol level by increasing itReduces the risk of heart diseaseDecreases blood pressure, especially oleic acidIt also seems that they decreases the risk of breast cancer and arthritis pain
Too much of any type of fat can cause weight gain and negatively affect human metabolism and blood glucose levels. Fats are very rich in calories when compared to proteins and carbs. They also contain a high quantities of vitamin E which can cause breast and prostate cancer.
Fats should count for approximately 20 to 30 % of your daily macro nutrients. As monounsaturated fats seem the most beneficial to humans they should make approximately 40 to 50 % of your total daily fat intake.
HOW TO INCLUDE IT INTO DIET
Simply eating whole grain bread instead of white bread will do the trick. You can also add olive oil to your meals, cook food with sunflower oil, make an oatmeal and eat handful of peanuts, walnuts and almonds once or twice daily in between "main" meals.
Although milk contains some of these good fats too, I really wouldn't recommend it. Only yogurt and cottage cheese are acceptable when it comes to consuming diary products. Also, red meat is poor source of this kind of fat and it contains a lot of saturated fat, so eat it in moderation.
Foods containing healthy carbohydrates and quality proteins also have some fats in them, including monounsaturated fats.
So, you really don't need to be obsessed about fats but it is good to know what snack foods and oils are good sources of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
Combining them with polyunsaturated fats will help you lower the risk of heart related disease.
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