Not All Fats Are Bad!
These days, we have hundreds of diets to choose from to help loose weight. From low calorie, to detox, to intermittent fasting and much more, but how do we choose?
The biggest thing everybody talks about when it comes to dieting, is fats. There are bad fats that cause problems such diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity, but what a lot of people don’t realise, is that we need the good fats in our diet to maintain this healthy balance.
The bad fats that we all know are called Saturated fats, mainly coming from animal sources of food such as red meat and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fats raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The other type of bad fats, not so well-known, are called Trans fats, occurring naturally in some foods in small amounts. But most trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. These partially hydrogenated trans fats can increase total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but lower HDL cholesterol. This can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So what are the Good Fats?
Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are the more healthy heart fats. Studies have consistently shown that eating foods that contain monounsaturated fat can improve your blood cholesterol level and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Foods that include these are:
nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans)
vegetable oils (olive oil, peanut oil)
peanut butter and almond butter
Polyunsaturated fats are also known for helping decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol. These are known as “essential fats” because the body cannot make them and needs to get them from foods.
Foods that include these are
Flax seeds or flax oil
Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, and trout
Safflower oilPlant-based foods and oils are the primary source of this fat
One of the most important types of polyunsaturated fats is Omega 3. Omega 3 helps decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, but it also helps lower blood pressure levels and guards against irregular heart rates. Examples of the types of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are the following:
These healthier fats are a very important part of your diet, but still need to be consumed in moderation as they are all high in calories.
My belief is that you should have ‘a little of everything in moderation’ in order to get all of the correct nutrients for maintaining a healthy balanced diet. It’s a strategy that will help your heart and improve your quality of life, without taking all the fun away from eating.