Fats provide our bodies with numerous essential functions. Without fats, our body would not function, our nerves would not fire, and our brain would shrink to less than half its size. There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. Plant-based fats may come from a large variety of vegetables, fruits, tubers, nuts and seeds. Animal fats, which contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol, can be replaced with healthy plant-based fats. Avoid processed foods entirely.
The Functions of Fats
1. Stores Energy
Fatty acids, which as the building blocks of fat, are stored throughout our body as energy reserves in the form of fat. When we eat fat, our body breaks it down so it can be used. The excess is then turn back into fat. When energy is needed, the body breaks down the fat to be used at a later time. There is no reason to seek to consume extra fat in your diet, as your normal diet will have enough fat in it.
Fat can be stored throughout the body for later use. Adipose is the term used for fat stored as an energy reserve. This can be located under the skin, which is called subcutaneous fat. It mat also be located behind the abdominal wall and is called visceral fat. Fat may also be stored around organ tissue, but excess organ fat may lead to medical complications.
2. Insulates the Body
Fat not only stores energy, but is also insulates the body from losing energy in the form of heat. Fat maintains our body temperature by keeping heat inside our bodies and cold outside out bodies. It protects our organs from temperature changes in extreme weather. This makes it easier for a person with extra fat to stay warmer in cold weather. It is also the same reason why ocean animals with blubber are able to survive the frozen oceans.
3. Protects the Body
Our organs, nerves, muscles, tissues, bones and everything else in our body is protected by fat. This prevents shock from causing damage to the sensitive parts of out body. When we fall, our fat acts like a helmet and prevents the force damaging out organs. Our skin and bones, such as our rib cage, are also present to help our bodies remain safe from the ravages of the world.
4. Absorbs Vitamins
Vitamin A, which supports our immune system, vision, and growth; vitamin D, which helps our body absorb certain minerals; vitamin E, which supports our muscle growth, neurological functions, gene expression, and a variety of other necessary functions; and vitamin K, which supports our bone development, blood coagulation, and protein synthesis, are all fat-soluble. Without fat, we would not be able to make use of these vitamins and our body would not function.
5. Brain and Nervous System
Fat makes up a substantial portion of our brain mass. Without fat, we would have no brain function. Fat-free diets may be responsible for loss of cognitive abilities. Myelin, which is a protective sheath around our nerves, is made from fat. The main symptoms of ALD, or Adrenoleukodystrophy, is due to the damage caused to the myelin sheaths around the nerves. This causes seizures and other symptoms.
6. Cell Structure
Every cell in our body is protected by a cell membrane. The cell membrane is made out of fat. Lipids, which are made from fats, have water-loving and water-averse poles. This forms the structure of the membranes of our cells. These lipid layers operate much the same way as our skin does. Throughout the lipid layer, numerous channels and receptors allow our cells to communicate and interact with the cellular world.
Fats are a necessary requirement for the construction of some hormones. High-fat diets lead to an increase of estrogen, which is essential for both men and women. Sex hormones are bound with red blood cells by fat-based molecules called globulin. Without fats, our body would have a much more difficult time communicating with itself through chemical means.
Healthy Nutrition Options
Coconuts have extremely high levels of healthy fats. They are also an excellent source of potassium, fiber, protein, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. Coconut flesh, milk, and oil can be consumed. This gives it a wide range of possibilities to find its way into your diet.
Avocados are very similar in their nutritional content as coconuts. Avocados are an excellent fruit in the own right. Avocados have been shown to reduce LDL levels, bad cholesterol,and increase HDL levels, good cholesterol. Avocados are easy to eat and easy to cook, so they too can find a way into anyone’s kitchen.
Legumes, such as peas, beans, and peanuts, contain both fat and protein. Peas and green beans are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Peanuts are high in fat, protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin b-6, and magnesium. Easy to grow in most climates, legumes can become a a staple in your home garden and daily meals.
4. Sunflower Seeds and Other Seeds
Sunflower seeds, along with many other seeds, are high in healthy fats as well. They are also high in protein and are excellent sources of potassium, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin b-6, and magnesium. They can be used as a snack by themselves or even tossed onto nutritious salads or other dishes. Sunflower seeds have been shown to lower cholesterol levels as well.
5. Walnuts and Other Nuts
Walnuts, like most nuts, are high in fat and protein. They are also high in fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They have been linked to a reduction in heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. Other nuts, such as almonds and hazel nuts, have a host of benefits as well.
Olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, and other oils are all excellent sources of nutritional benefits. They easily replace animal-based fats, such as butter and lard, in any cuisine or dish. Oils can improve digestive processes, heart health, brain function, and offer numerous other advantages.
Experiment With a Variety of Plant-Based Fats
Experiment with a wide variety of plant-based foods to develop a healthy diet. Share your recipes and experiences with out community. Learn from the insights and information that others share as well. You may find that a veritable encyclopedia of information may be found in the minds of other seekers of a healthy lifestyle.
If you are looking for a healthy dessert, then begin with something as simple as an avocado. Slice two avocados lengthwise and drizzle local honey or syrup over top. By adding chopped peanuts and walnuts, you can create a delicacy that may become your new favorite comfort food.