If you want to eat a healthy diet then it is crucial for you to understand the difference between good fats and bad fats so that you know which ones to avoid. In the past, it was thought that all fats were bad; however, now we know that there is a difference between saturated fats, unsaturated fats, Tran’s fat.
The way that our bodies process these different types of fats is very complex and our bodies actually need certain kinds of fats for optimal function. While healthy fats are good for the body, some fats should be avoided altogether. How can you determine which is which?
Understanding the Difference
There are two types of good fats, poly-saturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. These two types of fats are known as the good fats and can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. While some fats such Trans fats should be avoided entirely.
This is because Tran’s fats are known to raise cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol levels have been linked to heart disease and many other health conditions such as stroke and heart attack.
So, how do you know which fats you should avoid? Let’s take a look at the different types of fat and the effect that each one has on your body.
Types of Fats
- Saturated Fat – Saturated fat is found in red meat as well as fatty processed meats like salami. Other common sources of saturated fat are dairy products such as cream and butter as well as thick oils such as kernel oil, coconut oil and palm oil. It is suggested that you limit your saturated fat intake to about ten percent of your daily diet at the very most.
- Mono-Unsaturated Fat– These fats are a good source of fat and can be found in a variety of foods such as nuts, avocados and olive oil; just to name a few. Try using avocado in place of cream cheese on a bagel or replace your vegetable oil with olive oil for a healthy change.
- Poly-Unsaturated Fat – There are two different types of these healthy fats which are Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Most people already get enough Omega 6 fats from vegetable oil; however, omega 3 fats are harder to find. A good source of Omega 3 fats are flaxseed, salmon, walnuts and tuna. Replace unhealthy snacks with healthier choices such as sunflowers, walnuts or flaxseeds to give your body the healthy fat it needs.
- Trans Fat – Trans-fat is created by adding hydrogen into vegetable oil. The process was originally created in order to extend the shelve life of many packaged foods. Tran’s fat is not good for you and should be avoided whenever possible. Some common foods that contain Trans-fat are packaged goods such as crackers, cookies and other packaged bakery items. Keep in mind when shopping that manufactures are allowed to label a product as “Trans Fat Free” as long as it contains less than a half of a gram of Trans Fat per serving.