We basically have 4 big categories of fat, monounsaturated fat (MUFA), polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), saturated fat and trans fat.
Examples of MUFA are nuts.
Examples of PUFA are vegetable oils, but also some nuts, especially walnuts and also omega 3 fat from fish and fish oil.
The highest amount of saturated fat is found in fat from animals.
Coconuts also contain higher levels of saturated fat.
Trans fats are found in processed food, hydrogenated vegetable oil and usually deep fried food.
Research, which included 6,183 older women, conducted over 4 years showed that higher saturated fat intake was associated with worse cognition and verbal memory (Okereke OI, et al. 2012).
Higher MUFA intake was instead related to better cognition and verbal memory.
You can’t go wrong with nuts.
There is plenty of evidence documenting the health benefits of nuts.
They not only contain healthy fats, but also many beneficial micronutrients.
That’s probably why nuts are much healthier than vegetable oils.
Omega-3 fish oil of high quality also provides several health benefits.
When cognitively normal older individuals, patients with mild cognitive impairment and patients with Alzheimer’s disease were evaluated with neuropsychological tests and MRI, fish oil use was associated with higher mental state scores in the normal group, and lower score on the Alzheimer’s scale in the Alzheimer’s group (Daiello LA, et al. 2015).
Fish oil use was also associated with less atrophy in one or more brain regions.
Trans fat is the most harmful fat.
If you feel you need a snack during the day, nuts of different kinds are a very good choice.
Pistachios and walnuts are especially good.