Photo of coconut oil
Coconut oil is a healthy fat that has been shown to aid in areas such as energy, skin health, and dental health

9 fats that should be part of a healthy diet

19 September, 2014

Natural Health News — Fats have for a very long time been considered the enemy of good nutrition – but things are changing.

A series of recent high profile studies has challenged the myths that all fats, including saturated fats, are bad even going so far as to suggest that it’s time to stop blaming saturated fats for heart disease.

Some saturated fats are health and, for instance, have been shown to help reduce the risk of diabetes.

A little later than some of the rest of us, food scientists, manufacturers and nutritionists are now doing a big about face on fats, so much so that a recent food industry magazine Food Technology devoted considerable space to the issue of  ‘new’ healthy fats.

The article highlighted how fatty acids and new types of nutritional oils may benefit cognition, weight management, heart health, eye and brain development, and even mood.

Here are the oils industry insiders feel we should all be paying attention to:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with brain development, cognition, eye health, dementia and depression. They are also widely well-known for their heart health benefits.

2. Pinolenic Acid: Pinolenic acid is based on pine nut oil derived from a specific Korean pine tree, and is especially rich in long-chain fatty acids. Clinical trials have shown that it can help suppress appetite and promote a feeling of fullness.

3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Conjugated linoleic acid has been shown to affect weight management by helping reduce body fat and increase lean body mass. High levels of CLA are found in pasture fed meat and dairy.

4. Flaxseed Oil: Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids which can contribute to heart health and help reduce inflammation.

5. Hemp Oil: Hemp seed oil contains a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 linolenic essential fatty acids, and also contains vitamin E.

6. Fish Oil: Fish oil is known for its effect on cardiovascular, neurological, and cognitive health.

7. Canola Oil: A study showed that a canola oil-enriched, low-glycaemic-diet improved blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics, especially those with raised systolic blood pressure.

8. Soybean Oil: High oleic soybean oil has reduced saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat, and delivers three times the amount of monounsaturated fats compared to commodity soybean oil.

9. Coconut Oil: Although not as much research has been done compared to olive or fish oil, coconut oil has been shown to aid in areas such as energy, skin health, and dental health.

The list does not include marine fatty acids – derived from algae. But these to have been shown to bring benefits, most recently in helping to treat acne. Marine oils, of course, also place less strain on our fish stocks.