Polyunsaturated Fat Foods

Doctors and nutritionists have been preaching it for years that you need to be on a low-fat diet to lose weight, manage cholesterol, and prevent other health problems. However, many people do not understand what types of fats are there in different foods and if all those fats are bad for health. In reality, you should avoid saturated and trans fats only because they increase your risk of developing heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are good for your heart, so you should try to include polyunsaturated fat foods in your diet to stay healthy. Keep reading to learn more about different food options.

What Is Polyunsaturated Fats?

Also called PUFA or polyunsaturated fatty acid, polyunsaturated fats are a combination of omega-3s and omega-6s that help reduce your bad cholesterol and improve blood circulation. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential for proper cell growth and brain function. Your body cannot produce these fats on its own, so you need to get it from food sources.

Omega-3s improve your heart health by reducing triglycerides, preventing the buildup of plaque in your arteries, and lowering the blood pressure. Similarly, omega-6 fatty acids help control your blood sugar and reduce risk of diabetes – they also help regulate your blood pressure. So, you need to include these fatty acids in your diet to enjoy these benefits.

Polyunsaturated Fat Foods You Should Eat

You will get omega-3s and omega-6s from polyunsaturated fat rich foods, and some of the best food choices are mentioned here for your understanding.

  • Avocado: You get about 15g of total fat from half of an avocado. 10g of these are monounsaturated fat and 2 grams are polyunsaturated fat.
  • Almonds are a fat-filled snack with fewer calories and about 14g of fat, out of which 3.5 grams are polyunsaturated fat and 9 grams are monounsaturated fat.
  • Tuna: Among the best polyunsaturated fat foods, a serving of tuna has 3g of protein, 179 calories, and loads of vitamin B12 with 13.9mg of omega-6s and 433mg of omega-3s.
  • Salmon: Among the best fatty fish, wild-caught salmon is the best because a 3-ounce serving offers 9 grams of fat, out of which 2.5 grams are polyunsaturated fat and 4 grams are monounsaturated fat. But the cockeye and coho salmon do not contain as much polyunsaturated fat.
  • Olives: A serving of 10-large olives contains 5g of fat with 4g of polyunsaturated fat and 3.5g of monounsaturated fat.
  • Flaxseeds: A tablespoon of whole flaxseed has 4g of fat with 3g of polyunsaturated fat and 1g of monounsaturated fat.
  • Egg: A large, whole egg contains 5g of fat with 1g of polyunsaturated fat and 2g of monounsaturated fat.
  • Walnuts: A 1oz. serving of walnuts has 2.6g of alpha-linolenic acid with 6g of total fat. It has 18g of polyunsaturated fat and 3g of monounsaturated fat.

Other Foods Rich in Polyunsaturated Fat

Here are some other polyunsaturated fat foods you can include in your diet:

Sunflower seed oil

Cereals

Peanut butter

Canola oil

Brussels sprouts

Sardines

Black beans

Herring

Pasture-raised meats

Tofu

Kidney beans

Soybeans

Evening primrose oil

Trout

Sesame seeds

Corn oil

Whole-grain breads

Cashews

Rapeseed

Pecans

Cottonseed oil

Poultry

Pine nuts

Spirulina

Safflower oil

Chia seeds

Durum wheat

Shrimp

Is Polyunsaturated Fat Foods Good for Weight Loss?

It is true that polyunsaturated fat is good fat, but that does not mean you should include more of polyunsaturated fat food in your diet to stay healthy. Even though they are healthy, they still provide you with 9 calories per gram. It means eating more of these foods will increase your calorie intake and you will eventually be gaining weight. Limiting your fat intake will help you lose weight. Ensure that no more than 30% of your calories come from fat to keep your body weight in check. Also, ensure that those fats are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated.

Butter, red meat, and whole-fat dairy products contain saturated fat that you should limit. Less than 6% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat, which means no more than 120 calories in a 2,000-calorie diet. Excessive fat intake will lead to obesity because a gram of fat contains 9 calories, which is twice the amount of calories found in protein and carbs.

Read Food Labels on Package

For healthy eating and better weight management, you should always check the food labels before making a purchase. This provides you with more information about how much fat you are eating a day. Here is what to look out for on food labels:

  • Check the total fat content and know how much fat is there in each serving you eat.
  • Check the amount of trans and saturated fat in each serving.
  • Ensure that the products contain both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
  • Ask for nutrition information when eating out in fast food restaurants. 
 
 
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