Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats in Foods
In a world obsessed with the latest and greatest diet craze, there is plenty of misinformation out there. One diet claims that carbs are the universe’s greatest evil, while another declares that special cookies are the way to a slimmer figure. There’s one thing that most of these diet fads seem to agree on: fat is undesirable.
It’s a different story when it comes to the fat content in our food. While there are bad fats, existing solely to haunt our thighs, there are also good fats that are essential to healthy living. Knowing the difference can be the key to a healthy future.
What Is Bad Fat?
Saturated and trans fats are the black sheep of the fats family. Well-known for raising blood cholesterol, bad fats are contributing factors in high risks of stroke and heart attack. They can clog the arteries, therefore, blocking blood flow from the brain and heart.
Foods with Bad Fat
The following list is likely to shock you. All of those delicious tasting foods you covet are filled with saturated and trans fat. It’s the rotten luck of the world that everything tasty is doomed to be unhealthy.
Cheese, ice cream, chicken, beef, pork and most dairy products are packed with saturated fats.
Most snack foods, such as candy bars, chips, popcorn, cookies, pizza and cake are in the trans fat family. Fried foods are also full of deadly trans fat.
What Is Good Fat?
Anything with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is considered healthy fat. Unsaturated is the key word. The good fat provides your body with fatty acids, which help produce acids that your body can’t create on its own.
Good fats are also filled with vitamin A, D, and E. Vitamin K, which is responsible for helping blood coagulate by modifying certain proteins within the body, can only be found in unsaturated fats.
Strangely, unsaturated fats actually combat the saturated fats’ habit of clogging arteries. That’s why it’s especially important to eat more unsaturated than saturated fats.
Foods with Good Fat
Monounsaturated fats include olive, canola, peanut, sesame, and sunflower oil, which are all great for cooking. If you are a fan of nuts, you’ll be happy to hear that peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are also healthy fats.
Polyunsaturated fats include tofu, soymilk, fish, walnuts, soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil. Anything seed-related, such as flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds are also part of this category.
If you are worried about your cholesterol or heart health, stock up on all these types of foods. They should become a part of your regular diet.
If your diet is severely lacking in good fats, you could need to add supplements to your regimen. Your body needs to produce the right amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids to help your heart health and reduce the risk of stroke. Fish oil is the most commonly used supplement for this purpose.
While you should change your diet to include good fats, sometimes your body needs a boost of a supplement.