There’s a lot of debate over fat. Good fats, bad fats, how much fat you should consume. And there’s a myriad of foods that proudly display Fat Free on the label. People eat these thinking they are a better solution. The thing is, if you went on a completely fat free diet and did not consume any fats at all, your health would take a nosedive and you would be severely malnourished. The problem is not fats, it’s the type of fats you consume. The amount of fat you consume also has repercussions. However, if you’re eating healthy fats, chances are you’ll feel more satisfied and stay full longer and not overeat.
Too often, when people look at food labels, they look at the amount of fat as a whole and never bother to break it down into whether it’s good fats or bad fats. Nuts contain a lot of fat, as do avocados, but those are good fats. Your body needs good fats. Good fats help keep cholesterol from building up and keeps your heart healthy.
You should avoid trans fats and saturated fats as much as you possibly can.
There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Under those two main types there are other types. The good fats are the unsaturated ones. Under those are the polyunsaturated and the monounstaturated. When these are eaten in moderation, they can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and keep your body healthy. These include vegetable oils, omega 3 fatty acids such as fresh fish and walnuts.
Monounsaturated fats are ones that liquify at room temperature. These fats include avocados, many of your nuts (hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews), olive oil and peanut oil. They are also a good source of vitamin E.
Saturated fats should be consumed at a minimum. These include meat, chicken skin, eggs and dairy, coconut oil and palm oil. These fats not only increase your cholesterol levels, but they can also lead to many cancers. Being overweight and consuming bad fats compound your susceptibility to cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
Trans fats are another concern. These fats are used for frying, baked goods, margarines and processed foods that contain a lot of carbs. Trans fats can be extremely bad for you, especially the artificial types.
The scope of this article does not cover fats in details, however, you should learn as much as you can about all the fats so you can make better food choices. Sticking to a healthy diet of mostly vegetables, eating fish and lean meats, is always best. You should limit your consumption of any processed and prepackaged foods. Eating the way nature intended is always your best choice.
If you do feel like you need to treat yourself from time to time, keep things in moderation and only eat a small portion. Choose your treat wisely.
Educate yourself on reading labels, especially where fats are concerned. Aim to eat more poly and monounsaturated fats and eat less saturated and trans fats.