Fats are an integral part of any healthy diet and play numerous roles in the body! They come in different forms with unique impacts on the body. This also determines how healthy a fat is for us.
We have three types of fats: saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated.
What Makes Fats ‘Good’?
We can argue that all three types of fats play some role in the body and that we should get some amount of each.
If you were to ask most experts today, many would say that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are beneficial, but we should avoid the saturated kind.
The truth is, humans have evolved on a diet rich in all sorts of unprocessed fats. So, instead of just looking at the structure and type of fat, we should also consider its source. In that case, that which would constitute a ‘good’ fat would be one coming from non-processed food.
For instance, fats from sources like avocado, eggs, cacao and fatty fish are good for us (1, 2, 3). In contrast, highly-processed fats in products like margarine, potato chips, and corn oil are harmful and can lead to serious health problems down the road (4).
The Importance of Getting Enough Good Fats
We are often careful to avoid unhealthy fats, but few people ever consider the consequences of not getting enough good fats.
Fats play an essential role in the body, and we need them for a wide range of processes. Most notably, fats are involved in hormonal regulation and production, cell creation and signaling, brain health, and immune function. Fats are also crucial for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A and D.
Research also finds a strong correlation between adequate fat intake and cardiovascular protection. Contrary to popular belief, good fats benefit our heart health; they don’t hamper it.
On the mental health side of things, dietary fats seem essential for preventing and alleviating depression (6).
And finally, fats are an important part of any sustainable diet because they add taste and texture to our meals, which increases enjoyability. Plus, fats are highly satiating and can be incredibly beneficial for people looking to restrict their calories and lose some fat.
As you can imagine, we're big fans of dark chocolate; a known source of good fats. We also like to reduce sugar intake where possible which is why our dark chocolate range is also so low in sugar (no more than 2g per serve).