When we talk about fats only negative connotations came to our mind. This has been the common perception among people about fat, that we should avoid its intake to stay away from its ill consequences, though all fatty foods are tasty and delicious. So, many people find it difficult to choose between staying healthy and eating the delicious food. There seems to be a lot of confusion among people about whether fat is good or bad for health. All fats are not same. There are some types of fats which are not good for our health and can lead to several diseases and there are some fats which are essential to promote the health of a human body. These are known as good fats. It is important to know the difference between good and bad fats so that we can incorporate them into our diet accordingly.
Types of fats:
There are four types of fats present in the food which we eat. These are:
- Saturated Fats
- Trans fats
Saturated fats and Trans fats are considered to be bad fats. These are rich in cholesterol and increase the risk of heart diseases.
Saturated fats: These are long chain fatty acids with single bonds and are solid at room temperatures. These tend to increase the LDL and bad cholesterol in the blood. These are commonly found in animal-based products.
Sources: dairy products such as cream, full-fat milk, butter cheese, meat, palm oil, fried food, processed food, cakes, pastries, sweets etc.
Trans fats: These are Trans fatty acids made from hydrogenation of oils. Trans fats are far worse than saturated fats. These not only increase the bad LDL but also decrease good HDL. These are the culprits responsible for increasing inflammation and insulin resistance in our body. The risk of coronary artery increases by having 2 percent of calories from these Trans fats daily.
Sources: Fried foods such as French fries, pizzas, burgers, candies, fast food, biscuits, cakes, pastries, Margarine, cookies, Industrial food, Frozen food.
Unsaturated fats are considered to be good fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats come under this category. These are predominantly found in food from plants.
Monounsaturated fats: These fats have one unsaturated carbon bond in their molecule called as a double bond. These fats are typically liquid at room temperature and solidify on cooling. These help to improve cholesterol levels and prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well. These are found beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels also.
Sources: olive oil, nuts, avocados, seeds, peanut oil, etc.
Polyunsaturated fats: These fats contain two or more double bonds. These are essential fatty acids and our body does not make them. We have to take them from food. These are essential for growth and development of cells and brain. These are further divided into two categories:
Omega-3 fatty acids: These are a type of essential fatty acids important for body and brain. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids. These are very much beneficial for the heart. These are found useful in a variety of diseases such as cancer, asthma, brain disorders, visual disturbances, cognitive aging, inflammation and skin disorders. These are helpful in improving lipid profile of the blood.
Sources: fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, peas, fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil
Omega-6 fatty acids: These protect our body against cardiovascular disease and lower the blood pressure also. These are helpful in treating nerve pain and arthritis.
Sources: Grapeseed, safflower, corn oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seeds, borage oil, nuts, pistachios.
So become smart and choose what is good for you. Choose right kind of products for your health. Check the nutrition labels on the products whenever you buy them. Just choose good fat and kick out the bad fat from your daily diet.Your healthy choices will help you keep your body healthy.Leave a reply →