Understanding the Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats

Understanding the Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats

 Understanding the Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats

Understanding the Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats

Understanding the Difference between Good Fats and Bad Fats

We’ve been hearing about good fats versus bad fats for many years now. Yet most people do not know the difference. They just believe that all fats are harmful and avoiding fats at all costs is the answer to losing weight. This is a fallacy that can actually have negative effects if followed.

 

Several people who cut out all fat from their diet have reported feeling weaker, having constipation and a generally poor mood. The reason for this is that the body needs fats. It is one of the three crucial macronutrients the body requires to function optimally. The other 2 being carbohydrates and proteins.

 

The best way to lose weight and stay healthy will be to consume fats in moderation and ensure that you are only consuming beneficial fats rather than the detrimental fats that clog your arteries and cause inflammation in the body. To do this effectively, you must be able to differentiate the two. Now, let’s look at the two different types of fats.

 

  • Good Fats

 

“Good fats” is a broad term that can be divided into several categories.

 

  1. Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are less stable that monounsaturated fats because of their molecular structure. This type of unsaturated fat that can be found in cold water fish, nuts, wheat germ and even certain vegetable oils such as safflower oil. However, it is not good to consume hydrogenated vegetable oils.

 

It is crucial that you get your required dosage of polyunsaturated fats because the human body is unable to produce this important source of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

 

  1. Omega-3 fats

 

These fats also belong to the polyunsaturated fat category and are very effective at reducing inflammation in the body. There are a plethora of benefits from consuming Omega-3 fats that range from mitigating arthritis pain to preventing heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal cognitive function.

 

Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial for treating depression, eczema, PMS and even ADHD. That means you should eat foods such as tuna, salmon, sardines, clams, etc, to get enough Omega-3s in your system.

 

  1. Omega-6 fats

 

Our diets these days are very rich in Omega-6 fats. The ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s is totally out of whack in most people. This has resulted in health problems and Omega-6 fats have received a bad name.

 

However, they are beneficial polyunsaturated fats and should be consumed in balance with Omega-3 fats. You can get Omega-6 fats from foods such as flax oil, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, etc.

 

  1. Monounsaturated fats

 

Monounsaturated fats have been shown to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) in our bodies. LDL is an abbreviation for low density lipoprotein. Since they’re able to remedy the high cholesterol problem, monounsaturated fats are considered an important source of essential fatty acids.

 

You can get sufficient monounsaturated fats in your diet by consuming food cooked with extra virgin olive oil or eating foods such as avocados, walnuts, almonds, etc.

 

You may have picked up on the fact that there are cross-overs in these fat sources. That’s normal because some foods like walnuts and olives contain both types of unsaturated fats.

 

  • Bad Fats

 

Bad fats are the kind that clog your arteries, make you obese and encourage diseases to manifest in your body.

 

  1. Saturated fats

 

The fats are bad and can be found in junk food, processed food and fried foods. In the past, coconut oil, butter and lard were considered as bad fats. However, latest studies have shown that these fats are actually good. The real culprits are the hydrogenated man-made oils sold in supermarkets and the solidified oils used in the preparation of junk food.

 

  1. Trans fats

 

These fats are extremely detrimental and are produced by artificially adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular chain that make up unsaturated fats.

 

This hydrogenation process leaves some hydrogen molecules hanging off the fat chain. These extra hydrogen molecules act as “free radicals” and cause much damage within the body through oxidation.

 

Now that you have an idea of what the good fats and bad fats are, you may wish to expand your knowledge on this subject by doing your own research. Consume good fats and give the bad ones a wide berth. With time, you will notice that you look and feel like a brand new you.

 

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