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4 Healthy Plant Based Fats You Should be Eating

The fat-free diet fad of the 80s and 90s gave fat a bad name despite many fats being essential and so good for the body. It’s time fat got a makeover and seen for the wonder it truly is.

Kate Rockwood reported for Oprah.com regarding good fats, calling them “a workhorse in the body.” Rockwood pointed out the positive truths about these wonderful elements, explaining how fats are vital to the structure of our cells, and how they help regulate blood pressure and our immune systems. Fats also aid in the absorption of essential vitamins.

Granted, not all fats are the same and some are truly better than others. According to Roberta L. Duyff, the author of the “American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide,” plant oils provide the body with more heart-healthy benefits than animal fats like butter.

Here are four of the best plant oils, the kind of fat your body will thank you for.

Walnut Oil

Walnut oil will help Americans get more omega-3 fat, the fat that studies show we do not get enough of. Omega-3 fat can aid in maintaining normal brain function, reduce artery-damaging inflammation, and may even lower the risk of certain ailments like dementia, cancer, and heart disease. The mighty walnut was tested at Penn State where a research study found that people who ate whole walnuts or used walnut oil had a better response to stress and lower blood pressure.

Pistachio Oil

Pistachio oil contains a large amount of phytosterols, a plant-based compound that has been linked to the reduction of some cancers and been shown to inhibit tumor growth in animals. Additionally, phytosterols are similar to cholesterol at the structural level. This means they can contend with the artery-clogging cholesterol in the intestine which reduces the total amount of cholesterol that the body absorbs.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is unique due to its smoke point in cooking. Avocado oil will not reach its smoke point until 510 degrees, while more common oils like extra virgin olive oil reaches the carcinogen-producing smoke point near 325 degrees. This means avocado oil is safer for cooking with high heat and even the occasional frying. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are great for the heart. The fats in avocado oil have been shown to lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, and raise HDL, or good cholesterol.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

The oil from the pumpkin seed is another good source of omega-3 fat. Pumpkin seed oil contains tocopherols which are considered an anti-aging property that is known to fight free radicals. Free radicals are DNA-damaging molecules that are produced by pollution and the sun. Research also suggests that pumpkin seed oil can help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis and regulate blood pressure.

These four fats are powerful and prove just how great a good fat is for the body. Do not let the term fat fool you, let it make you healthier.

Also Read:

10 Surprising Sources of Vegetarian Protein

Infographic: Wondering About a Vegan Diet?

Recipe: Avocado Frozen Yogurt

June 4th, 2012

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(Page 1 of 1, 2 total comments)

Roland Stebbins

Placing emphasis on refined oils rather than the whole foods themselves loses the whole point of the whole foods diet. The oils are not complete foods and cause huge increases on calories and fats - not helpful at all.

posted Jun 25th, 2012 1:50 pm


Krista

What about palm fruit oil? I know Malaysian palm fruit oil is a great source of antioxidants, beta-carotene, and a form of vitamin E that is good for brain health. It's also very good for high heat cooking.

posted Jun 4th, 2012 6:59 pm



   
 

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