Lose The Fat: Good Fat and Bad Fat- Fats get a lot of bad press and are seemingly blamed for every problem of the modern age, from obesity, war, disease to financial difficulties and social behaviour. While there is an element of truth to that, it isn’t as clear cut as we are led to believe.
Fat is a complex issue. There are good fats and bad fats. Our bodies need fat to survive and thrive and it’s important to know which is which. That’s what we’re going to cover on this page. We are going to separate good fats and bad fats and teach you all you need to know about each.
All fat contains around the same number of calories but vary in their chemical composition. Some are easily digested and transformed by the body and some are not. Usually, natural fats such as those in meat, dairy and nuts are good for you in reasonable amounts.
In fact, fat and protein are the two elements that make us feel full after eating, so it’s important to retain a sensible amount of fat in our diet. However, like everything, it’s all in moderation.
Good fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Each of these occur naturally in many foods and can be distinguished by the fact that they remain liquid at room temperature.
Monounsaturated fats do not cause your cholesterol level to increase and are therefore healthy to eat in moderation. Typical foods that contain monounsaturated fats include; olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, nuts and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats are also naturally occurring and do not cause increases in cholesterol. They include omega-3 and omega-6 both found in oily fish and known for a number of health benefits.
Other foods rich in polyunsaturated fats include; coffee beans, safflower oil, rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, salmon, mackerel and herring.
Bad fats include saturated fat, hydrogenated fat/trans fats. These can be distinguished by the fact that they solidify at room temperature.
Saturated fat can be found in high fat cuts of meat, poultry with the skin on, many dairy products such as butter and cheese, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernels. We need around 20g per day of saturated fat to remain healthy, but unfortunately most of our diets contain much more.
Hydrogenated fat is also known as trans fat and is a manufactured fat. Originally, trans fat was developed to replace saturated fat but was quickly identified to be worse for us that what it was designed to replace. It is hydrogenated fat that raises LDL cholesterol levels, so should be taken only in moderation.
Lose The Fat: Good Fat and Bad Fat, Good Fats vs. Bad Fats: Get the Skinny on Fat, Fat Facts: Essential Fatty Acids, Saturated Fat, and Trans Fat, Why You Need to Eat Fat to Burn Fat and A Guide to Choosing Healthy Fats
Foods that contain hydrogenated fat include most processed foods and ready meals, margarines, spreads, shortening, crisps, breakfast cereals, biscuits, non-dairy cream and many frozen foods.
As you can see, not all fat is bad and we do need some fat in our daily intake. The type of fat does have a bearing on how our bodies process it and the effect it has on us. It’s sensible to include a little of all types of fat in a diet to cover all the bases. That’s why we recommend a varied and healthy diet. You get the best of both worlds without the worst of the fat.