People love food fat! And the scientific data is clear – the fats on this good-fat-bad-fat-food-fat list all affect your heart one way or another. They’re either good for your health or bad for you.
Food fat can contribute to a happy healthy heart or heart failure and death – it’s your choice!
Fat in food is not just about being "fattening." Although there's still plenty of bad-fat-good-fat-food-fat confusion, scientists now realize that there are both extremely healthy good fats as well as extremely unhealthy bad fats. And some of the good fats can even help you lose weight.
Bad Fat Good Fat Food Fat List
If you're having trouble digesting some of the bad fat good fat food fat details, you're certainly not alone. And it's understandable why.
After all, too much saturated fat or any trans-fat in your diet is clearly a disaster waiting to happen. On the other hand, the essential fatty acids are "essential" for optimum physical, mental and emotional health. To clear up the confusion, here's your bad fat good fat food fat list of fat facts.
Trans fatty acids are the real bad fat boys. Since trans fats have been shown to raise artery-clogging LDL (bad) cholesterol and cause breast cancer, they should be totally eliminated from your diet.
Trans fat is created when processed vegetable oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. Food sources include candy, cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, crackers, biscuits, cereals, deep fried foods, fatty meat from beef and sheep, soups, margarine and some salad dressings.
Saturated fats should make up no more than about 10% of your calorie intake. Even though saturated fats add flavor to food and can be beneficial in small amounts, in large quantities saturated fat has been shown to clog arteries and cause other cardiovascular health problems.
Saturated fats are mainly in animal foods, such as beef, pork, lamb, butter, cheese, cream, ice cream and other full-fat and low-fat dairy products. It's also found in tropical palm and coconut oils.
Polyunsaturated oils are the source of essential fatty acids. They used to be ranked highest on the food fat list. But now that food fat is better understood, polyunsaturated fats are known to be a mixed bag.
The reason is clear. Most people get way too much non-nutritious polyunsaturated omega 6 fat in the form of highly refined vegetable oils. This throws off their optimum balance of omega 3 to omega 6 oils.
It's best to use monosaturated olive oil for salads and cooking and get your essential fatty acids from whole food sources. These include 100% whole wheat, brown rice and other whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans, especially soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
Monounsaturated fat helps protect against heart disease by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol). The best source is extra virgin olive oil. Other good sources include olives, almonds, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, avocados and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Omega 3 with EPA and DHA is considered to be in a class by itself – even though it's technically polyunsaturated. This is because of the exceptional omega 3 EPA and DHA health benefits, which include reducing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some kinds of cancers, arthritis, depression and protection against many other painful and serious diseases.
The best sources of omega 3 with EPA and DHA are salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout, anchovies and good quality omega 3 fish oil capsules. (Note: plant sources of omega 3 do NOT have EPA and DHA.)
Remember that all fats, bad or good, have 9 calories per gram. So even though omega 3 fish oil and olive oil are both great for your heart and bacon fat is terrible, each fat gram adds the same amount of calories. For my low-calorie omega 3 recommendation, go to the fish oil website.
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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.