Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Unsaturated fats vs. Saturated fats

You’ve undoubtedly read many articles pertaining to the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ fats and their effects on the body but do you really know what this means?

What are the good and bad fats you ask? In short, the bad fats mostly consist of ‘saturated fat‘ and the ever so popular ‘trans fat‘ (a.k.a hydrogenated oil), that comes from commercially baked goods, pastries, fried foods, chips, cookies, whole butter/milk/cream & other dairy products, whole eggs, palm oil, coconut oil, and red meat (beef, lamb, and pork). If you’re unsure if the product you’re consuming has trans fat, simply look for the trans fat in the ingredients section of any product but also look out for it’s counterpart – hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils – they are just as guilty so stay away from them.

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Conversely, the goods fats, also known as the ‘unsaturated fats‘ (mono and polyunsaturated), which are liquid at room temperature and become solid when chilled, are extracted from mostly plant sources such as: olives, olive oil, corn oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, flax seed oil, canola oil, most nuts, peanut butter and avocados. If you can’t fit these into your diet every day, you should consider eating fish – salmon, herring, and trout to be exact – or try buying a bottle of fish oil. Fish oil is extracted mostly from fish that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid and be sure to look for the fish oil that has both the long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid) and DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid), which are usually present in most of the fish oil supplements – the recommended daily intake is approx 1,000 mgs, (don’t let them dissolve in your mouth, they’re gross tasting).

Monounsaturated fats are the healthier of the two unsaturated fats and have many health benefits. This type of fat can reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke while optimizing nutrient regulation. Monounsaturated fats have also been credited to providing possible treatments for breast cancer, losing weight, rheumatoid arthritis, and keeping our brains and other vital organs running at peak condition.

Polyunsaturated fats come in both the Omega 3 & 6 form. Omega 3’s are essential fats that our bodies need and can’t make and are most prominent in fish, flax seed oil, walnuts, canola oil, and soybean oil. Omega 6’s are essential fats that our bodies also need but can’t make: soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oils are great at providing these fats.

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

In addition, the good fats help promote healthier hair and nails, provides vast amounts of energy, helps one feel fuller after a meal, and assist in synthesizing nutrient absorption for vitamins A, D, E, & K.

Although it is believed that the healthier unsaturated fats do aid in many health benefits, it’s still considered a fat and at a whopping 9 dense calories per gram – they need to be managed and shouldn’t be more than 20% of your diet. Instead of utilizing these fats in addition to your current fat intake, try replacing the unsaturated fats with the saturated fats for optimal health results.

Trevor Adams

Trevor Adams is a certified nutritionist and male fitness model. Facebook: @TrevorAdams Instagram: @trevoradamsmodel

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