We have grown up with the belief that fat is bad for our health and is the major contributor to increased levels of cholesterol and heart problems besides other diseases. However, this is a myth as all fat is not bad for our body. In fact some fats are needed by the body to keep us energetic and fight fatigue, help us manage our moods, as well as, strange as it may sound, but even control weight. Therefore, to eat a truly healthy diet you must include fat in your diet. But choose to eat good fat instead of the bad.
What is Meant by Good Fat and Bad Fat?
Fats fall into the following categories:
- Trans fats
- Mono saturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Saturated fats
Trans-fats are the fats as we know them; they are the bad guys and the culprit when it comes to causing weight gain, and elevated cholesterol related conditions like blood pressure and heart disease. Trans fat is nothing but hydrogenated oil that is used in preparation of mainly fast foods and packaged foods to help keep them fresh longer. Stay away from trans fat at all costs as they can make you very sick in addition to making those tyres double up on your midriff.
Trans fat is found in over the counter baked products like pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes etc. You will also find them in packaged food like chips, chicken nuggets, fries, or even vegetable shortening.
Be wary while taking this category of fats as they may be good or bad depending on their health benefits. For example, whole fat dairy products are a rich source of protein and calcium in spite of being saturated in fat content. Similarly, coconut oil when not hydrogenated can boost your energy.
Mono Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fats
This category of fats is generally found in olive oil or corn oil and is beneficial for health to the extent that they boost energy and increase general well being by keeping us in control of our emotional balance. You can find these fats in food like avocados, olives, seeds like sunflower, sesame and flaxseed,
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Found abundantly in fish and algae, Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential item to be included in the diet and are a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 Fatty acids help in preventing and reducing the symptoms of depression, protecting against dementia, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, supporting a healthy pregnancy in addition to helping in arthritis and joint pain conditions.
Supplement your diet with the good fats based on the information given above and eat your way to good health.
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