This fat we should eat more of

Many of us cut fat in our diet because we think it’s unhealthy. But there are different types of fat – both unhealthy and healthy fat – and our body needs the healthy fatty acids.

We constantly hear that fat is one of the worst enemies for our body, and many people therefore choose foods that contain little or no fat. But cutting all fat from the diet is actually not good for your body; it’s about choosing the right type.

Some fatty acids are essential for a healthy body. These fatty acids are called linoleic and linolenic acid, and belong to omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid groups, respectively. We must get these fats from food, because the body cannot produce enough of them.

The unhealthy fat:

The difference between the healthy and the unhealthy fat is how it behaves in the body. The fat you want to avoid is called saturated fat. This fat can increase blood cholesterol. It is found in “food” like chocolate and potato chips, in fatty meat products such as sausages, fat dairy products like whole milk, sour cream, fat cheeses, butter, etc. One way to understand if it is saturated fat is if the fat has a hard consistency in refrigerator temperature.

Today we eat more saturated fat than the Norwegian Department of Health recommends, and we eat at least twice as much meat as fish. The content of saturated fat should be limited to less than 10 percent of the energy (or calories) needed pr day.

An easy way to adjust fat intake is to choose lean dairy and meat products, and eat more fish, which are good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The healthy fat: 

The healthy unsaturated fat contains omega-3 fatty acids that have several important physiological functions. Therefore, make sure that a large part of your fat intake is in the form of unsaturated fat.

For example, monounsaturated fat is obtained from chicken, olive and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are obtained when eating fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, cod liver oil.

The Norwegian Department of Health recommends eating three fish meals a week, of which at least 200 grams should be fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel or herring.

Omega 3 for heart, brain and vision:

These are the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that have a proven effect on our health. EPA and DHA are good for heart, brain and vision. However, the body transforms limited amounts of vegetable omega-3 (ALA) into EPA and DHA. Therefore, it is important that the body is supplied to the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA through fish and seafood.

Omega 6:

The omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid. It is important for the skin, mucous membranes and cell surfaces, but also an important part for the nerves in the body.

The omega-6 fatty acids are found mainly in plants and animals from agriculture. Plant oils such as soya oil, maize oil and sunflower oil have a particularly high content of Omega-6.

The relationship between Omega 3 and Omega 6:

In today’s diet it is not a challenge to get enough omega-6 fatty acids because the content of Omega-6 has increased in many types of foods, such as meat, eggs and dairy products.

There should be a balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 intake because they compete for the same receptors for body uptake. As today we get a lot of Omega-6, it is recommended to increase the intake of Omega-3.

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