Different Fats in the Diet

Different Fats in the Diet

Is fat always bad?

The low-fat food craze that occurred in the 1990’s came as a result of the realization that certain types of fat can cause high cholesterol, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Like any food craze, it seemed like every food on the shelf was deemed “low fat”, “reduced fat” or “fat free”. Luckily, we have come to see that certain types of fat can be beneficial, if used in moderate amounts.

The “bad” fats, such as saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and trans-fatty acids, raise your LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol. It is best to avoid them, or use them in very sparing quantities.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is the biggest culprit in high cholesterol. This type of fat mostly comes from animal products, but there are a few plant products that contain it.

• Meats
• Butter
• Milk and cream
• Cheeses
• Coconut oil (and other tropical foods and their oils)
• Cocoa butter

Hydrogenated Fat

Hydrogenated fat is produced through a chemical change in the process of oils. It, too, raises your bad cholesterol. It is found mostly in margarines and shortenings.

Trans-fatty Acids

As a result of chemical processing, certain oil-based products contain them. They are processed to increase the shelf life of certain foods or to create a solid product, like margarine. They potentially raise your cholesterol more than saturated fat.

The Good News

Fortunately, not all fat is bad for you. Used in moderation, some types of fat can be beneficial to your body, helping to lower your cholesterol levels. Try using either a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat in the place of one of the “bad” fats.

• Olive oil
• Peanut oil
• Avocados
• Soybeans
• Corn
• Nuts/seeds

The credo behind healthy eating seems to be “everything in moderation”. This is certainly the case where fats are concerned. Fat does not have to be your food enemy! By educating yourself, it is possible to still enjoy the satisfaction and flavor of many oils and fats (moderately!), and not have to worry so much about high blood pressure or weight gain.

Fat Facts:

Natural peanut oil is used

for cooking in submarines

because it doesn’t smoke

unless heated to immense





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