When hearing about lipids, some people wrinkle their noses and see them as villains, especially those on a diet who want to lose or maintain weight. However, foods rich in lipids must be part of our diet to maintain health.
There are several benefits to the consumption of this nutrient, which, together with carbohydrates , acts as a fuel for our body to function perfectly.
Check below the main benefits and a list of foods rich in animal and vegetable lipids.
Benefits of lipid-rich foods
Lipids play several fundamental roles in our bodies, so the consumption of nutrient-rich foods is important. One of the main functions of these “good fats” in our body is to act as carriers of nutrients and fat- soluble (fat-soluble) vitamins in our body.
Thus, they favor the absorption of vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K, which also provides health benefits.
Fats are also important because they provide energy for our body to function perfectly and are precursors to hormones.
Other benefits include the maintenance and development of the organism (essential during pregnancy for the development of the fetus’ brain), energy reserve and thermal protection.
What foods are rich in animal lipids?
Foods rich in lipids can be divided between those of animal and vegetable origin, both sources of healthier fats. They are present in foods that have several other essential nutrients for health, such as vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
Lipids can have a solid, liquid consistency. In animal origin, for example, solids are more common.
The main foods rich in animal lipids are:
Meats, especially those of bovine origin, are good sources of lipids that are good for health. When consumed in the right amount, they can promote several benefits and are indicated in a balanced diet.
The amount of fat present depends a lot on the cut. For example, a piece of beef rib has a higher concentration of lipids than the duckling.
Cheeses, in addition to being sources of fat, also have good amounts of other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium and vitamins. Consumption helps to strengthen bones and teeth. In moderation, they can be part of the daily diet.
Butter, like the different types of cheese, is a high-fat, high-calorie food.
Although it is easily digested by the body, it should be consumed in moderation, as too much butter can cause an increase in cholesterol.
When consumed in moderation, it can bring benefits, as it is also a food that has vitamins A, E and B12.
It is also important to note that butter is not the same as margarine. Margarine is a food that is very harmful to health, as it is ultra-processed and rich in trans fats. Therefore, it should be avoided.
Some fish, called fatty fish, are rich in lipids and other nutrients that are good for your health. The main ones, already known by those who take a healthy and balanced diet are salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and trout.
They are fish rich in omega 3, good fats and fatty acids, so they are able to combat the action of free radicals, prevent premature aging, control cholesterol levels and generate other benefits.
Foods rich in plant-based lipids
The main sources of plant-based lipids are vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and some fruits, such as avocado, coconut and cocoa.
Avocado is an excellent healthy option of food rich in lipids. Because it contains these good fats, being rich in omega 3, antioxidants and vitamins, is a good source of energy.
Avocado consumption can also help prevent disease, as it can strengthen the immune system, control cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular complications.
It is a good option to reinforce breakfast, and can be used in sweet and savory recipes.
Flaxseed, like other seeds, is a food rich in lipids and of great nutritional value. It can provide several health benefits as it is rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, proteins and omega 3.
This food can be eaten with fruit salad, yoghurt or added to bread and cake recipes, to make them healthier.
Sunflower seeds are also sources of good fats.
They can be consumed in seed form or as vegetable oil, with seeds being the most recommended option for better preserving nutrients. In natura , they are also a source of proteins, fibers, minerals and phytochemicals.
Oil is a healthier option for preparing food, just like olive oil.
Coconut is a very versatile lipid-rich fruit, as it can be consumed raw, in pulp or in oil, in addition to its water being a great hydration option.
Dark chocolate is a good option for those who are looking for a healthier diet to lose weight, but still do not give up a sweet.
This option of chocolate is rich in lipids and can bring health benefits, as it also has nutrients such as iron, zinc and antioxidant substances.
The composition of this chocolate should be 70% cocoa, with little milk and sugar.
Oilseeds such as nuts, walnuts and almonds are options rich in lipids and other essential nutrients, such as vitamin E , omega 3 and antioxidants. Consumption is associated with the prevention of heart disease, as it helps to regulate cholesterol levels.
The Brazil nut, for example, is an option rich in magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and fibers.
Olive oil is a vegetable oil derived from olives. It is a healthy source of lipids that can replace soy oil in food preparation, for example.
It contains good amounts of omega 9 and fatty acids that help to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Consequently, it is beneficial as it contributes to the prevention of heart disease.
The most recommended is that the consumption is of extra virgin olive oil, as it is less acidic and of higher quality. Product storage is also important to preserve the benefits. Preferably, it should be kept in places without light and away from heat.
What are the bad lipids?
Although the lipids listed in the above foods are good for health, it is known that the consumption of excess fat is bad for your health, especially in the case of bad fats.
In this group, we can mention trans (industrialized) fats, present in processed and ultra-processed foods, and saturated fats (of animal origin) – which, moderately, are beneficial, but in excess are harmful.
Their high consumption increases the risk of damage to cardiovascular health, as it increases the chance of artery clogging and high cholesterol, in addition to reducing bad cholesterol.
Thus, the chances of the person suffering problems such as heart attack, stroke (stroke) and hypertension are higher.
So, to find out whether lipids are good or bad, think about the logic of peeling more and unpacking less. Prefer fresh and animal-based foods over processed foods .
Lipids perform several important functions in our body.
In addition to acting as a source of energy, they are also responsible for maintaining our body at an appropriate temperature, collaborate in the absorption of vitamins and provide a greater feeling of satiety.
We have listed in this article some lipid-rich options that should be part of a healthy diet.
Thanks for reading and keep following more information about food and health!