Are You Getting Enough Healthy Fat?
By Sara Butler
The news is out: Fat (the good kind) is your friend. Sure, you have to be careful how much fat you get in your diet, but you may be surprised to find out a lot of people don’t get enough of the good fat they need. Here’s what might clue you in that you’re not getting enough of the good stuff.
Why You Need Fat
Many of the important vitamins you need to live are fat soluble – which means they must be eaten with fat in order to be absorbed. Vitamin D is a great example. You often see Vitamin D in milk, and milk has all kinds of good fat in it to help with Vitamin D delivery.
Fat also helps you to maintain a healthy heart, feel full for longer after you eat, and promote a healthy brain and nervous system. You need it, but may not be getting enough of it.
You Experience the Mid-Afternoon Slump
You know the drill – you’re working away at your desk, feeling productive and then all your energy seems to drain from your body sometime in the afternoon. If your lunch was lacking in the healthy fats department, this could be one of the reasons why.
If you’re trying to be healthy and eating salad with vinaigrette and some Greek yogurt, that is one step in the right direction; however, your lunch could be lacking some of the fat you need to keep you going. Try adding some olive oil to your salad or eating whole milk yogurt, which may help you to keep the dreaded afternoon slump at bay.
If your mood swings feel more like an entire mood playground you might not be getting enough fat. There’s research to support that omega-3 fatty acids can help with mild mood issues. Try getting more omega-3s in your diet by eating more fatty fish and try to limit the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in your diet to help the omega-3s get absorbed better.
Omega-6s are important but too much can be a problem, so try and limit seed oils such as soybean and sunflower in order to get a handle on it. They’re found in abundance in a lot of packaged food too. So, going with whole foods is a great way to keep the good fats in balance and maybe balance out your mood too!
No matter what you may have heard, fats are an important part of your diet. Just make sure you’re getting the right kind and see what a difference it can make for you!