Hi lovely people!
We’ve all heard that there are good and bad fats, but how much do we know about what that means? Health professionals have had mixed recommendations regarding fat intake, but many of these experts agree that only certain kinds of fat should be included in our diets, while others should be minimized or avoided altogether. Which types of fat fall into each category? Let’s take a look at the good and bad fats that you should use in your diet.
How Do We Classify Fats?
Fats can be classified in a few ways, but we’ll focus on two main types: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think: butter, lard, coconut oil), while unsaturated fats are liquid (vegetable oils, olive oil). Unsaturated fats can further be classified as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Finally, there is trans fat, which is created when manufacturers turn vegetable oils into solid fats through a process called “hydrogenation.” This type of fat should be avoided as much as possible.
Types Of Fats:
There are four main types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fat. You need all four types in your diet, but the key is to eat them in the right proportions.
1) Saturated Fats:
These are solid at room temperature and come mainly from animal sources such as meat, milk, and eggs. They can be used for cooking oil as they are stable at high temperatures without becoming toxic or oxidizing too quickly. However, these fats have been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, so it’s best to limit their intake (especially if you’re looking to lose weight).
2) Monounsaturated Fats:
These oils don’t contain any cholesterol but still provide calories, so they should be eaten in moderation. Good sources include avocado, nuts (such as almonds), olives, and olive oil. Nuts are a great snack food because they contain protein, vitamins, and minerals while being low in carbs. Try making raw cacao-coated almonds using just three ingredients: raw almonds, coconut oil, and raw cacao powder. The process takes only five minutes! Just mix the ingredients together, spread on parchment paper, and refrigerate until set. Then break into pieces and enjoy!
3) Polyunsaturated Fats:
These are found in both plant and animal products and include omega-fatty acids. Omega-three fatty acids are particularly beneficial for heart health, so they should be included in your diet. Good sources of polyunsaturated fats include fish (such as salmon), flaxseed oil, and canola oil. When cooking with polyunsaturated fats, it’s important to use them sparingly and at lower temperatures to avoid oxidation (which can create harmful free radicals).
Oils with high smoke points are best for cooking because they won’t oxidize as easily. Avocado oil, almond oil, and coconut oil are all good choices.
4) Trans Fats:
Trans fats are the worst type of fat you can eat and should be avoided as much as possible. They are created when manufacturers turn vegetable oils into solid fats through a process called “hydrogenation.” This type of fat raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Trans fats are often found in processed foods such as cookies, crackers, and margarine. Be sure to check the ingredient list for “partially hydrogenated oils” or “vegetable shortening” – if either of these is listed, the product contains trans fats.
What the Experts Say
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of fat, you might be wondering how much of each type you should be eating. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting saturated fat to no more than 13 grams per day for most people. They also recommend avoiding trans fats as much as possible. As for unsaturated fats, the AHA suggests consuming them in place of saturated and trans fats whenever possible. Aim for two to three servings of polyunsaturated fats and one to two servings of monounsaturated fats per day.
Can I eat fat if I’m trying to lose weight?
Yes, you need fat in your diet to lose weight. Fat provides energy and helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and hair. However, you should choose healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado instead of unhealthy fats such as butter or margarine.
Does eating fat make you fat?
No, eating fat does not make you fat. In fact, a diet that is too low in fat can actually make it harder to lose weight. The key is to eat the right type of fat and limit your overall calorie intake.
What are some healthy ways to cook with fats?
There are a few healthy methods to choose from when it comes to cooking with fats. One option is to use olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats. Another good choice is canola oil, which is high in polyunsaturated fats. You can also use avocado oil, a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. When it comes to cooking with fats, choose healthy oils that will benefit your heart instead of harming it.
How do I know if a food is high in saturated fat?
You can usually tell if a food is high in saturated fat by looking at the ingredient list. If the product contains “partially hydrogenated oils” or “vegetable shortening,” it is likely high in trans fat. You should also avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, such as butter, margarine, and processed meats.
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, but choosing the right types of fat is important. Saturated and trans fats should be limited, while unsaturated fats should be included in moderation. Following these guidelines can help keep your heart healthy and your weight under control. What are your thoughts on fats? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more tips on how to eat healthy, check out our blog post on Sweeteners vs Sugar (pros and cons of each).
Thanks for reading and have a great healthy week!