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Good Fats vs Bad Fats Whats the Difference

Good Fats vs Bad Fats Whats the Difference



Fats are not all Created Equal

People may think they need to eliminate fat from their diet to reach their weight loss or health goals, but that’s not necessarily true. Just like proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber, fats are nutrients that your body needs to function properly. However, some fats are better for you than others, and some are truly harmful to your health. One of the keys to eating healthy is choosing the right fats, not eliminating fats from your diet altogether.

What are “Bad” Fats?

There are two main types of “bad” fats: trans fat and saturated fat.

Research shows that consuming trans fats can increase your cholesterol and cause inflammation, which puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Because of these potential health risks, trans fats are banned in the United States.

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered food manufacturers to eliminate trans fats from their products within three years. However, products are considered “free of trans fat” if they contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving. This is why it’s so important to carefully read the labels on your food products. When one of the ingredients is partially hydrogenated oils, it means the product contains small amounts of trans fats.

Consuming even a small amount of trans fats can damage your health. In fact, studies show that your risk of heart disease increases by 23% for every 2% of trans fat calories you consume daily. Because of this, it’s best to eliminate trans fats from your diet.

The second type of bad fat is saturated fat, which can be found in many different types of foods, including:

  • Red meat
  • Whole-fat milk or cheese
  • Prepared baked goods
  • Coconut oil
  • Ice cream

Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels and negatively impact your heart health, but it’s not nearly as harmful as trans fat. You don’t need to completely eliminate saturated fat from your diet to maintain good health. Instead, experts recommend limiting your intake of saturated fats to about 10% of your daily calories.

What are “Good” Fats?

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are considered “good” fats because they can:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Lower your LDL cholesterol level
  • Increase your HDL cholesterol level (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Prevent irregular heart rates

Eating a diet rich in these good fats can help you maintain good health. Fortunately, these fats are found in a number of different foods, like avocados, olives, nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, walnuts, tofu, soymilk, salmon, tuna, fish oil, sesame seeds, and canola oil, so it shouldn’t be hard to incorporate them into your diet.

Both types of good fats are important, but polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. This means your body needs these fats to function but cannot produce them on its own, so you must get them from the foods you eat.

Remember - as long as you consistently choose the right fats, you can still lose weight and maintain your good health!