Why Fats Are Needed In A PCOS Diet
For so long we were all led to believe that consuming fat was the cause of all evil.
Sadly, I must admit that I also fell for the lies and the misconceptions about fat and its effect on our health.
These common and frequent diet trends which pop up every few years and take over our mind, making us question what we thought we new about health and nutrition. These constant dieting trends truly have an impact on ones health.
Fat Is Not Bad For You
Just like many others I fell for this misconception and the denouncing of fat.
While the low-fat diet became popular in the 1960's and 1970's it is still an approach continue to follow and believe in. The low-fat approach became an ideology, and all health practitioners, the government, the food industry and media were all advising it (2).
It was believed that the fat we eat caused people to become fat as well as other the cause of many chronic diseases such as heart disease.
The food industry began producing low-fat products and promoting them as healthier than high fat.
Firstly, fat is not bad, and the fat you eat is not the fat that you wear. Secondly, many of these low-fat products are high in sugar. Many people are unaware of the added sugar found in these low-fat products. However, the added sugar which is found in low-fat products is necessary otherwise the product will have no taste. The food industry has to include an element of flavour and taste to these low-fat products otherwise they would not sell. So how do you make a low-fat product taste nice? Add sugar.
The problem with the low fat diet and what people are not told is that fat is necessary for both your body and mind. And when I mean fat I mean the fat you consume and the fat on your body. Both are required for a healthy life.
Reasons Why You Need To Eat Fat
Necessary for Hormones
Fat helps to regulate hormone function. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone are all steroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for our reproductive health, bone health and muscle building, all these hormones require a significant amount of fat to be produced and function properly.
Countless studies are showing the benefits of consuming fat for the brain. The brain is made up of of 60% fat, you can therefore see the importance of eating enough dietary fat.
Research has shown that EFAs, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development but also for mental health. Dietary decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for the optimum functional maturation of the retina and visual cortex. Plenty of DHA shown to improve visual acuity and mental development, preventing the development of depression.
Required for the transportation and absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Such as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and antioxidants (such as; beta-carotene and lycopene).
Provides the structure of our plasma membrane
Fat and protein provides the structure of our plasma membrane. What makes the plasma membrane is what forms the boundary between what is inside and outside the cell.
Healthy Fats To Include
Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil
My go to oil, studies have shown countless benefits of using olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, in turn helping to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids which has been show to have anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming omega 3 provides women with PCOS significant benefits, including, improved hair and skin, improved insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as improved mood.
Nuts and Seeds
Both nuts and seeds contain important nutrients for our health. Researchers recommend including nuts and seeds as part of a healthy diet. It is suggested that regular consumption can help reduce risk of heart disease and can aid in weight loss.
Walnuts, flax and chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can also help to reduce inflammation.
Almonds and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E which is aids in oxidative stress.
Avocados also provide anti-inflammatory properties. They are contain the healthy fat monounsaturated fat and is believed to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Grass Fed Butter
Full of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are important for the brain and healthy skin.
The Fats To Avoid
As with everything there are always healthier and better alternatives for your health. So while the fats mentioned above are the healthier fats, these fats are the ones that must be avoided. They include trans fatty acids which are in any food containing hydrogenated oils, or foods that are fried in this type oil, most junk and processed foods.
Do not be afraid of fats, they are necessary for our overall health and well-being. While it is perfectly fine being mindful of the amount you are consuming, as fat is very calorically dense, simply avoid straying away from it purely for weight loss and you think eating fat makes you fat.
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