Fat is bad? Not always. Let’s see what kind of fat is good for you
Most of us know that there are three different types of fat. Saturated fat, trans fat and unsaturated fat. But what kind of fat is good for us and which one is a risk to our health?
Saturated and trans fat raise LDL ( the “ bad“) cholestrol level in your blood and increases the risk of heart disease. The biggest sources of satured fat in the USA are
- Pizza and cheese
- whole and reduced fat milk, butter and dairy desserts
- sausages, bacon, hamburgers
- Mexican fast food dishes
Trans fatty acids are partially hydrogenated oils and can also be found in beef fat anf dairy fat in small amounts.
Eliminating industrial-produced trans fats from the U.S. food supply could prevent between 6 and 19 percent of heart attacks and related deaths, or as much as 200,000 each year. (by: Harvard T.H Chan , School of Public Health)
Unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) does not raise the LDL cholesterol and are considered to have beneficial fats because they ease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and other different beneficial roles. This fat is found in plants, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
Here is a list where to find the „good“ unsaturated fats:
- Olive, peanuts, canola oils
- Nuts ( Almonds, hazelnuts and pecans)
- Seeds ( Pumpkin and sesame seeds)
- Sunflower, corn, soybean and flax-seed oils
Omega-3 fats are an important type of polyunsaturated fat. The body can’t make these, so they must come from food. A good way to get omega-3 fats is by eating fish 1-2 times a week and include flax seeds, walnuts, canola and soybean oil.
But never the less , fat is a major source of energy for the body and aids in the absorption of vitamins. Fats provides taste and consistency to your food and helps us , of course, to feel full.
The overarching message is that cutting back on saturated fat can be good for your health, if people replace saturated fat with good fats , especially, polyunsaturated fats.
Eating good fats in place of saturated fats will lower the “ bad“ LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease and can also help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
While the U.S. is making progress , trans-fat is widely used in some developing nations. Why? It is inexpensive for the industry and also for home use. This shift away from traditional cooking oils and toward trans-rich partially hydrogenated oils is contributing to the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease and overweight in developing nations around the world.