Good Fats VS Bad Fats: Understanding the Different Dietary Fats and its Importance

Updated: Jun 27, 2021


We all hear this at every social gathering, every kitty party, and every hangout “Stop having so much fat, have only veggies and salads”, but this statement has very little truth to it. But everywhere around us, the word ‘fat’ as a macro nutrient is treated in a bad light.


To reduce weight and keep our waistlines in check, we're advised to avoid Ghee, Butter, Milk cream, and any type of Cream. But in doing so, we often end up hurting our own health because we are depriving our body of the essential fats.


Despite what we believe, we all need a balanced diet and that includes a certain amount of fat in our daily diet. But a lot of myths make people think that fat consumption leads to heart disease, increased cholesterol and several other illnesses. It’s time to clear the air and break all the myths about how fat is bad for us.


Importance of Eating Good Fat



Some fats are healthier than others and may even aid in the promotion of good health. Knowing the difference might help you decide which fats you should avoid and which you should consume in moderation.


Fatty acids, often known as dietary fat, can be present in both plant and animal sources. Certain fats have been linked to heart disease, while others have been discovered to have major health benefits.


Fat is just as important to your diet as protein and carbohydrates for providing energy to your body. Fat is also required for several biological activities. Some vitamins, for example, require fat to break down and give nutrients to your bloodstream.


However, consuming too many calories from any form of fat might result in weight gain. Foods and oils include a variety of fatty acids, but the major kind of fat found in them determines whether they are healthy or not. We should maintain healthy fat intake by consuming foods that have healthy fats and avoiding foods that have unhealthy fats.


Types of Fat


Monounsaturated Fat

  • This beneficial fat can be found in a number of foods and oils. Monounsaturated fat-rich diets have regularly been found to improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in studies.


  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered more "heart-healthy" fats by doctors. This is information that will help you make better dietary decisions.

Polyunsaturated Fat

  • Polyunsaturated fats are referred to as "essential fats" since they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through food. This fat is primarily derived from plant-based meals and oils. Polyunsaturated fat, like monounsaturated fat, can lower blood cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of heart disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of fat, have been demonstrated to be particularly good for your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids not only appear to minimize the risk of coronary artery disease, but they also appear to help control blood pressure and prevent irregular heartbeats.


Omega-6 Fatty Acids

  • Polyunsaturated fat can be found in the following foods that include omega-6 fatty acids, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids.



What Foods Have Healthy Fats?


Fish

  • Omega-3 fatty acids may be found in naturally fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and mostly in any freshwater fishes. These are "healthy" fats that keep your heart in great condition.



Avocado

  • Serve it with guacamole or as a sandwich filling. Avocado is high in healthy fats and perfect for good fats for weight loss, which are beneficial for the heart and may assist with osteoarthritis symptoms.


Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are little yet powerful. They include "good" fats that can help to reduce cholesterol levels. Plant-based fats are generally healthier than those derived from animal sources.



Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is a great choice for cooking and salad dressing. It has a lot of healthy fat. But keep in mind that it's always a good idea to keep an eye on how much fat you consume, even if it's healthy fat. These are the best good fats for weight loss, as cooking with olive oil gives better nutrition than cooking it with any other vegetable oils.


Eggs

  • Eggs are an excellent source of low-cost protein. A big hard-boiled egg contains around 4.7 grams of fat, the majority of which is made up of good fats. Some eggs are additionally fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. On the container, it will state so.



What Are The Unhealthy Fats?



Saturated Fat

  • Animal fats make up the majority of saturated fats. High-fat meats and dairy items contain them. Doctors have traditionally connected higher saturated fat intake to an increased risk of heart disease.


  • This notion has recently been brought into question. According to Harvard University, saturated fat may not be as harmful as previously thought, but it is still not the healthiest fat choice.


  • Saturated and Trans fats are two types of fats that have been identified as potentially harmful to your health. At room temperature, most foods containing these fats, such as butter, margarine, shortening, beef, or pork fat, are solid. Trans fats should be avoided, and saturated fats should be consumed in moderation.

Trans Fat

  • When at all possible, try to mostly avoid Trans fat. Trans fat is a type of fat that is found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fat, like saturated fat, can elevate LDL (bad) cholesterol, also referred to as "bad" cholesterol. Trans fat can also lower HDL (good) cholesterol or “good” cholesterol levels.


  • Trans fats have also been linked to an increased risk of inflammation in the body, according to doctors. This inflammation can have negative health consequences such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.


High-Fat Foods


Foods high in saturated fats are unhealthy fat foods which cause heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. There are few high-fat foods to avoid:

  • Meat products

  • Butter, ghee

  • Cheese, hard cheese like cheddar

  • Cream and ice cream

  • Savory snacks, like cheese crackers and some cheese popcorn

  • Chocolate, biscuits, cakes, and pastries


The Bottom Line


  • While Trans fats are bad for your health, saturated fats haven't been connected to an elevated risk of heart disease. They are, however, unlikely to be as healthful as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.


  • Although healthier fats are an important element of your diet, it's still vital to limit your intake because all fats are heavy in calories.


  • As a result, it's a good idea to include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. It's a plan that will benefit your heart while also improving your quality of life.








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