Healthy Fats: These Foods Keep You Fit

Fats are not just fats – there are both unhealthy and healthy fats. Here you can find out how saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are related and in which animal and vegetable foods you can find the healthy version.

Healthy fats versus unhealthy fats: an overview

The human organism needs fats – but only the good ones. They support health and muscle building in the body. It is not always easy to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. We clarify.

  • Fats are important for the human body. They give you energy and strength – as long as you eat the right fats.
  • The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily intake of 60 to 80 grams for an adult. We should therefore obtain 30 percent of our daily energy requirement from fats.
  • Fats are made up of numerous fatty acids. Here, science distinguishes between unsaturated (single and poly) and saturated fatty acids.

Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

Unsaturated fatty acids support fat loss and muscle building. These fatty acids are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids help the body, among other things, to metabolize the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. They also play a crucial role in the production of the hormone testosterone.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are essential for the human body, i.e. vital. Since we cannot produce these fatty acids ourselves, we have to get them from food.
  • Saturated fats have long been considered unhealthy. The rule now applies: they are allowed in moderation. Although the body can produce saturated fatty acids itself, they can also be found in many foods, including butter, cream, sausage, and meat.
  • Trans fatty acids are always unhealthy and are mainly found in industrially manufactured products such as chips, fries, margarine, fast food, and convenience products.

This is where the healthy fats are

In general, you should limit yourself to unsaturated fatty acids. Animal and vegetable sources of fatty acids are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

  • The animal fats are rather limited in the unsaturated fatty acids – in fish and eggs. A good source of fat is oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, and tuna (especially for salmon: 13 grams of fat per 100 grams). But eggs (11 grams of fat per 100 grams) should also be a regular part of the menu.
  • When it comes to vegetable fats, the choice is much larger. At the top are avocados (15 grams of fat per 100 grams) and nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, and almonds (51 grams of fat per 100 grams). Olives (11 grams of fat per 100 grams) are also excellent sources of healthy fats.
  • Oils such as olive oil, linseed oil, hemp oil, rapeseed oil, sesame oil, or pumpkin seed oil (100 grams of fat per 100 grams) have an extremely high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds are also recommended with around 30 grams of fat per 100 grams.
  • Coconut oil (100 grams of fat per 100 grams) is a special case. The reason: The oil is actually a saturated fatty acid, but provides the body with a lot of energy.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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