Good Fats and Bad Fats

Fat intake is always a subject of controversy when discussing weight issues. Dieters are always told to cut down on fats in the diet because of its calorie content and potential issues for future health. Some claim fats are good and others state fats are bad.

The truth is all fats and oils contain the same amount of energy per gram, so in terms of weight control all fats should be limited to an adequate intake that maintains health but also low enough to help reduce total calorie consumption. However fats should not be eliminated from the diet completely because we all need a certain amount of the right types of fat.

The Different Fats

There are two main types of fat, saturated fats and all the unsaturated fats which include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils. The unsaturated group is the healthier option and includes the essential omega 3 fatty acids that help lower risk of heart disease and cancers. Some unsaturated oils are also used by the body for construction of cell walls and help in the proper functioning of nerves. The saturated fats are pure forms of energy and are the fats which may contribute to heart disease and other health complications. Also saturated fats cannot be used for other essential functions like the unsaturated fats and oils.

For health issues it would be sensible to eat a few foods each week that contain omega 3 polyunsaturated oils. A good example of this would be eating a small portion of oily fish twice a week. The idea behind eating oily fish is the high content of omega 3 oils and because you would also obtain high quality protein and many other nutrients present in such a natural food.

Fish high in essential oils include:

  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Pilchards
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Trout

The above fish are also a good source of the essential omega 3 oils: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). These are said to be more important for health than the omega-3 – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Some other good sources of healthy omega-3 oils are:

  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Especially Almonds, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

So if you decide to cut fats from the diet to help reduce total calorie intake. Just remember to try to include small portions of the healthier fats and oils each week to keep health on track, after all any weight loss diet should also be a healthy diet!

You will not lose a lot of excess fat weight if you don’t increase your metabolism before lowering your calorie intake. Even a slight increase in your metabolic rate will speed up fat loss over many months without strict dieting.

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