Nutritionist advise us to steer clear of fats as much as possible. But recent studies have shown that there are certain types of fat that aren’t so bad called essential fatty acids. In fact, they are actually good for us, as long as we don’t consume too much of them.
It has long been agreed that humans need a certain amount of fat in their diets. It’s a small amount, but this little bit of fat is essential to good health. If you strive to make sure that most of the fats that you consume are of the “good” variety, your health will flourish even more all good fats are known as unsaturated fats or called the essential fatty acids. Within this category, there are two different kinds of fats.
Fats That Are Categorized As Essential Fatty Acids
Monounsaturated fats have been proven to aid in weight loss. They also lower our LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while raising our HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in many different kinds of nuts, including almonds, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts.
There is also a large amount of monounsaturated fat in certain oils, including avocado oil, canola oil and olive oil.
Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol. But they also provide protection to the heart, making heart disease and heart attacks less likely in those who consume them regularly. There are two main categories of polyunsaturated fats: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are found in corn, soy and sunflower oils, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and rainbow trout. All good fats are known as unsaturated fats.
Bad Fats Such as Saturated Fats Are NOT Essential Fatty Acids
We need a small amount of saturated fat in our diets, but most of us get too much of it. Eating too much saturated fat raises bad cholesterol and increases our risk of many different diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
There’s another kind of bad fat, which is man-made and is found in many foods. Hydrogenated fat, also known as trans fat, is created by adding hydrogen to polyunsaturated fat. This makes the fat solid at room temperature.
Trans fat use has been widespread for years. Use of because it was believed to be less harmful than saturated fats. But it was recently discovered that trans fat is even worse for our health than saturated fat, as it raises LDL cholesterol and lowers HDL. The FDA now requires the amount of trans fat in foods to be shown on the nutrition label so ensure you read the label.
Too much of any kind of fat is a bad thing. But if we replace the harmful fats in our diet with those that are good for us, and consume them in moderation, our health will benefit
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