The fats are getting a bad name when it comes to diet. Some of this is explained because in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity some forms of fat — and the fat-like substance cholesterol — can play a role.
Fats supply energy to the body and help it perform a number of functions. Eating healthier fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and reducing or restricting saturated and trans fats, is however important.
Good Fat and Bad Fat
Types of fat
Unsaturated fat (Good Fats) – The unsaturated fats contain one or more double or triple molecular bonds. Those fats are liquid in the shape of oil at room temperature. They happen in solid products, too. Unsaturated fats are considered beneficial fats at room temperature as they may raise blood cholesterol rates, relieve depression, regulate heart rhythms, and serve a variety of other beneficial roles. Unsaturated fats are present primarily in plant foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Two types of Unsaturated fats are the following:
- Monounsaturated fat – High amounts of monounsaturated fats are present in olive, peanut, and canola oils Avocados Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds.
- Polyunsaturated fat – High amounts of polyunsaturated fats are present in sunflower, maize, soybean, and flaxseed oils Walnuts Flax seeds Fish Canola oil–though higher in monounsaturated fat, it is also a good source of polyunsaturated fat.
Omega 3 fats have major importance among all types of polyunsaturated fats. The body can not produce these, so they have to come from food.
- Eating the fish 2-3 times a week is an ideal way to get omega-3 fats.
- According to a study by the HSPH staff, higher blood omega-3 fats are associated with less chance of premature death in older adults.
- Healthy sources of omega-3 fats in plants include flax seeds, walnuts, and canola or soy oil.
Unsaturated fats help lower LDL cholesterol levels in humans, lower inflammation, and develop stronger cell membranes in the body. Unsaturated fats are also helpful in Muscle activity, balance blood sugar, brain functioning, mineral and vitamin-absorbing, hormone, and immunity system.
Saturated Fats (Bad Fats) – Such fats have single bonds within their molecules, and are “saturated” with molecules of hydrogen. They seem to be room temperature-solid.
Foods have a combination of different types of fats. Even nutritious foods such as chicken and nuts contain slight levels of saturated fat, but somewhat smaller than those present in beef, cheese, and ice cream. Saturated fat is present mainly in animal foods, but a few plant foods are also rich in saturated fats, such as coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.
Other major sources of bad fats are Pizza and cheese, Whole and low-fat milk, butter and oil snacks, Meat products (sausage, bacon, steak, hamburgers), and Cookies.
- A meta-analysis in 2015 showed that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) could be the healthiest form of saturated fat. For eg, Coconut offers plenty of MCTs.
Trans-Fats – Trans fats are the worst kind of fat for blood vessels, and rest of the body. Trans fatty acids are produced by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas and a catalyst, a procedure called hydrogenation, which is more generally called trans fats. Trans fats have no known health benefits, and no acceptable amount of intake is available. And they were legally outlawed in the United States by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Trans-fats are the worst because of the following reason :
- Creates inflammation–an immunity-related response–that has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
- Can have adverse health effects only in small doses–the risk of coronary heart disease rises by 23 percent for each extra 2 percent of calories from trans fat eaten daily.
- Increase bad LDL and decrease good HDL.
- Resist insulin.
How to get good Fats diet
- Restricted the consumption of processed foods, as these can be rich in trans fats and sodium.
- Moving on to balanced fats. Foods including sardines, coconut, and walnuts have large concentrations of unsaturated fats. This will help brain growth, enhance the immune system, and boost heart health.
- Go for grilling, baking, or steaming foods, rather than deep-frying.
- Be vigilant about products that tend to be fat-free or low in fat. Many of these products have added sugars to replace the fats and processed carbohydrates. Without any added nutritious benefit such ingredients will increase the caloric intake.
- Choosing reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk, or lean meat rather than fatty meat cuts.