Good and Bad Fats

If your life is anything like mine, every time you look up information on healthy eating, you will find someone talking about good and bad fats without explaining what they are and where to find them. So I decided to do some research into which foods contain good and bad fats. It has been well known for a while that fat free and low fat are not necessarily a good thing. The reason for this is because food low in saturated fats can be just as bad as the full fat versions. What we should be looking at is the type of fats. Saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided as much as possible and monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good (in fact some recommend having more of them in our diets).

Impacts from Good and Bad Fats

First of all, I was looking at why some fats are good and some are bad. We need monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats for essential fatty acids, for carrying fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants, building cell membranes, and for a good source of omega 3. These fats can reduce depression, protect against memory loss and reduce the risk of heart disease. There is also research that eating these good fats can assist in weight loss.

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Your body doesn’t know how to digest trans fats, so they just sit there, and saturated fats can clog your arteries and cause high blood pressure and create a higher risk of heart disease which is why both these fats are considered bad fats.

Foods to Eat and Avoid

Taking good and bad fats into account, which foods should be avoided and which should we be eating more of? Bad fats are found in the following;

  • Fatty meat
  • Butters and some margarines
  • Cream cheese and sour creams
  • Commercially baked goods
  • Packaged snack food
  • Palm oil
  • Full fat dairy
  • Fried food

fried-chicken

 

The good fats are found the following oils (to name a few);

  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Peanut
  • Flaxseed
  • Sunflower
  • Linseed

and found in the following foods;

  • Nuts and seeds
  • avocado
  • olives
  • Lean meat
  • egg yolk
  • Oily fish
  • whole grains

While I would avoid fast food anyway, and already ate so many avocados that my husband is trying to grow our own avocado tree, there are things that I have changed specifically due to good and bad fats. For me, two of the major changes are that I have made is to switch to lower fat dairy and buy margarines based on olives or sunflower seeds. Now if only I could avoid the chocolate bars…

What do you consider when buying foods with a high fat content?

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