Fat. It’s terrible three-letter word that makes you cringe inside and out. Fat is always bad for you, right? Wrong!
Not all fat clogs your arteries, packs on kilogrammes, and leaves you feeling disgusting. The truth is that your body needs some fat from your food. Fat is actually a major source of energy, and it can help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. Plus, fat helps you build cell membranes, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthy muscle movement.
Fat also helps you keep your hair strong and glossy and your skin clear and youthful. The right fat can help improve your cardiovascular health and keep you happier and healthier overall.
Are you rethinking your low-fat diet, yet?
Before you go out and grab the nearest fatty dessert, “for your health,” you need to learn more about the right kinds of fats. For long-term health, some fats are MUCH better than others. Some good fats are monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, while bad fats include trans fats, and saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.
Let’s break it down into more detail.
The worst type of fat you can have is known as trans fat. That’s because it’s an industrial-made fat through a process called hydrogenation. Basically, the process turns healthy oils into solids. If you’re looking for it on a food label, look for “partially hydrogenated oil.”
Bad fats are a nightmare because they increase the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. Plus, trans fats also create inflammation and are linked to diseases and health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and more. In fact, there are NO known health benefits to consuming trans fats.
You’ll find trans fats most often in commercial pastries, fast food, margarine, and vegetable shortening. You’ll NEVER find it at 12 Health.
Saturated fat is difficult to talk about. It’s not necessarily healthy for you, but it’s also not really bad for you. Saturated fats are VERY common in your everyday diet. Think about things like cooled bacon grease, red meat, whole milk, cheese, coconut oil, and more. Saturated fat is everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat.
While a diet rich in saturated fats can increase your total cholesterol and promote blockages in your arteries, it’s not as bad as everyone thinks. It’s okay to have a little bit of saturated fat in your diet. Nutrition experts recommend keeping your consumption to under 10% of your calories per day.
Okay, now it’s time to talk about delicious, healthy, and good fats. Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. The two main types of good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, and most nuts. This type of fat is incredibly healthy. The more you eat, the lower your rate of heart disease. In fact, there’s no recommended daily intake. You can have as much as you want.
Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats found in salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, and canola oil. This fat is required for normal body functions, so you have to eat it in your food. Another term for polyunsaturated fats is omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Eating this type of fat can help prevent and treat heart disease, reduce your blood pressure, and provide a variety of other health benefits.
A Fatty Conclusion
So, when it comes to consuming fat, what should you do? Be mindful of what you eat. If you’re enjoying fish, nuts, and avocados, you’re getting all the fats you need. Instead, if your diet consists of processed and fried foods, you’re not getting the “right” fat. The keys:
- Load up on whole foods.
- Avoid cooking with butter and enjoy fish, beans, and lentils over red meat.
- Choose low-fat dairy to avoid too much saturated fat.
- Steer clear of all trans fats.
- Keep an eye on the types of carbs you eat and choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead of refined starches.