Most people assume that fats are all dangerous and must be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is just one of the reasons why many are skipping on some of the best foods that should be actually included in one’s diet for better overall health. The trick here is to know the different types of fats available so you will know which ones you should avoid at all cost and which ones are worth adding to your daily diet.
Let’s start with the bad fats:
- Saturated fat. This kind of fat is typically found in animal sources like poultry, red meat, as well as full-fat dairy products. The problem with saturated fats is that it can increase the total blood cholesterol levels in your body including LDL cholesterol levels which can put you at risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Trans fatty acids. Or commonly known as trans fats are another type of fats that are harmful to the body as this particular fat comes from the hydrogenation of oils which causes the fat to be more solid as well as more rancid. Trans fats tend to increase LDL cholesterol while lowering HDL levels. This is why it is important that you should avoid foods that are high in trans fats like processed and baked snacks and goods like chips, muffins, cakes, cookies, and pastries. Avoid using shortening and margarines as well.
On a good note, there are several healthy fats that you should definitely add to your diet such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids is highly recommended to be part of your diet as it can help reduce your triglycerides as well as cholesterol levels so you won’t be at risk from suffering from various heart diseases. If you are looking for a good source of this fat, think fish and fish oils like herring, sardines, wild salmon, and mackerel. You can also get some from walnuts, flaxseeds, and canola oil. It is recommended that you take 1 to 2 grams of omega-3s per day.
- Monounsaturated fats. This particular type of fat is commonly found in various foods and oils. Consuming foods that contain this fat can help enhance your blood cholesterol levels while reducing your risk from heart problems. Further research shows that this particular fatty acid can help regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels which is important to those with type 2 diabetes.
- Polyunsaturated fats. This fat is usually found in oils and foods that are plant-based. Studies show that eating foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats have better blood cholesterol levels which can significantly reduce your danger of suffering from various heart issues like stroke, high blood pressure, and cardiac arrest. It can also help lower your risk from type 2 diabetes.
As you can see, it is important to identify which fatty acids are good for your health and which ones are not so that you will be able to tweak your diet accordingly.