Good and Bad Fats

Good and Bad Fats

As fat is an important part of a healthy diet you should make sure to eat fat that is good for you.

Many fats can actually reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke and also help our sugar and insulin metabolism. But of course not all fats are created equal.

‘Good’ fats include monounsaturated fats that can be found in olive and canola oils, peanuts, other nuts, peanut butter and avocados. Monounsaturated fats lower total and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while maintaining levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) The LDL cholesterol accumulates in and clogs artery walls, whereas the HDL cholesterol carries cholesterols from artery walls to the liver for disposal.

Polyunsaturated fats found in seafood like salmon, fish oil but also corn soy, safflower and sunflower oils, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts also lower total and LDL cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group too and they might even help prevent arthritis, asthma, colitis and cardiovascular deaths.

‘Bad’ Fats are saturated fats as they raise total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and are mainly found in animal products such as fatty red meats and dairy products. But also some plant foods like coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are high in saturated fats.
‘Very bad’ fats and worse than saturated fats are trans fats. They were invented to hydrogenate liquid oils to provide a better shell life for food products. Trans fats are found in margarine, package foods, chips, crisps, cakes, cake icings and biscuits. They are bad for not only for your blood vessels but also for your nervous systems and waistlines.

To reduce the intake of trans fats and saturated fats you should go natural and limit margarine, packaged foods and fast food. Cook with canola or olive oil instead of margarine or butter and bake broil or grill rather than fry. Use lower-fat version dairy and trim visible fat and skins from meat products.

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