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BellaOnline's Gynecology Editor

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Not All Fats are the Same

Guest Author - A. Maria Hester, M.D.

A diet high in fat has been linked to many diseases, including breast cancer and heart disease. However, not all fats are the same. Fat is a source of energy for the body. It is also important for the absorption of certain vitamins, including vitamins K,A,D, and E.

Some fats are better for you than others.

Good Fats
Unsaturated fats are naturally liquid when at room temperature. There are two types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Unsaturated fats are found in things such as nuts, fish, and vegetable oils. In moderation, unsaturated fats can be good for your heart and blood vessels.

Bad Fats
Unlike unsaturated fat, saturated fat is naturally solid at room temperature. It is generally found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, ice cream, and cheese. However, it is also found in some oils, such as palm and coconut.

While avoiding a diet high is cholesterol seems to be flank news headlines from coast to coast, most of the cholesterol in the body is actually the result of eating saturated fat, which the liver ultimately turns into cholesterol. So, when you shop, don?t just avoid foods high in cholesterol, avoid foods high in saturated fat as well.

Trans fats are the result of unsaturated fats being changed to a form in which they are solid, not liquid at room temperature. This type of fat is typically found in processed foods, such as cookies, deep-fried foods, and margarine in stick form.

Of the fats listed, trans fats are the ones that should be purposely avoided, while saturated fats can be eaten in moderation, realizing that excessive amounts can be harmful to your health. Finally, unsaturated fats are the best for you.

Tips to cut the fat in you diet ?
Choose fish or chicken instead of red meat. (Skin the chicken, and by all means, don?t fry your food!)
After you prepare a meal, if you can see fat swirling around the dish, DRAIN IT!
Consider nuts, beans, or tofu instead of meat.
Use low fat dairy products, or substitute soy products for dairy. Soy milk is actually pretty good once you acquire a taste for it.
Want a big bowl of ice cream? Try a tasty bowl of sherbet instead. Better yet, have a ? cup of yogurt smothered with fruit.
In the mood for a BLT sandwich? Use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.

There are countless options for preparing delicious, nutritious meals. All it takes is a little ingenuity. Post your favorite low-fat recipe at the Bella Online forum so others can partake of your delectable inventions and live healthier.
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Content copyright © 2013 by A. Maria Hester, M.D.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by A. Maria Hester, M.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dr. Denise Howard for details.

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