You may have of heard of ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats. Fat, despite constant confusion in media articles, very much has its place in a good, nutritional diet or routine.
By knowing the difference between the two, you will be able to make healthier, positive nutritional choices and have a greater sense of well-being and fulfilment.
What are the differences between Good Fats and Bad Fats?
Good fats are also known as Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats.
They are beneficial for you heart, cholesterol level and general health. Some of the benefits include:
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Reduce risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries which reduces blood flow)
- Lowers the risk of heart disease
Monounsaturated Fats can be found in a variety of foods and can be consumed regularly:
- Peanut butter
- Nut family (almonds, pecans, cashews)
- Olive and sesame oil
Polyunsaturated Fats have similar properties and should also be consumed regularly:
- Fish (Tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon)
- Sunflower and Sesame Seeds
- Soy milk
The word ‘fat’ it seems, is very misunderstood.
Bad fats are also known as Trans fats and Saturated fats.
These fats can be consumed in moderation but must be exactly that. Moderated. Not taking up a high percentage of overall diet.
The worst type of fats, regarding your health, are Trans fats.
Trans fats are effectively artificial fat and have a whole host of negative effects which, if consumed regularly or too often, can include:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance leading to Type 2 Diabetes
Trans fat foods include:
- Fried foods (Fries, chicken nuggets, breaded fish or chicken, basically most of the McDonald’s menu)
- Pizza dough
- Muffins, cookies, doughnuts
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil
(These types of food are unfortunately very popular and also some of my personal favourites).
Having a degree of self discipline and putting your health before your taste buds is an extremely useful, psychological tool to possess.
The other type of ‘bad fat’ is Saturated Fat.
Although not as harmful as trans fat, you should still be very much aware that these types of foods such also be consumed in moderation:
- Red meat
- Milk, cheese, cream and butter
Saturated foods are not nearly as bad for you as Trans fats.
Have some variety in these listed foods alongside some good fats and do not over indulge in saturated fats. Spread them out.
Where To Go From Here
Try and include more good fats whilst slowly reducing the amount of bad fats you are consuming.
If you are predominantly consuming bad fats then you need to consider alternative foods you can replace them with.
Fats can play an important role in weight management provided that you are knowledgable of what types of fat provide a positive role.
Too many bad fats and you will find yourself not only gaining weight, but also suffering from low energy, bad moods and potentially serious health problems.
A variety and varied amount of good fats will help your body absorb vitamins, lower the risk of serious health conditions and can actually help you lose weight.
Fat is not the enemy. The type of fat you consume and understanding the difference will allow you to make healthier choices.