It’s a common misconception that all fatty foods are bad for our health, our bodies actually need some fat intake in order to properly function. The key is knowing which kind of fat the body needs. To make things simple, we have created an outline that distinguishes the good fats from the bad.
What are bad fats?
Although they typically taste great, eating foods high in trans fats and saturated fats have been identified as potentially harmful to your health and can have serious long-term health consequences. We recommend avoiding theses fats at all cost.
This type of fat is primarily animal-based, and is found in high-fat meats and dairy products.
Examples of saturated fats include:
- Fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
- Dark meat from chickens
- Poultry skin
- High fat dairy products (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, etc)
- Tropical oils (coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter)
Consuming too many saturated fats can increase blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Most commonly, high LDL levels cause coronary heart disease – a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary (heart) arteries.
This appears in foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are the worst fats for your body.
Examples of foods with trans fats:
- Fried foods (French fries, doughnuts, chips, most foods purchased from a drive thru window)
- Margarine (stick and tub)
- Vegetable shortening
- Baked goods (cookies, cakes, pastries)
- Processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn)
Trans fat can also raise LDL cholesterol, like saturated fats do. The reason why trans fats are so bad for the body is because it simultaneously suppresses your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, or “good” cholesterol. Therefore, trans fats can increase your risk for heart disease threefold higher than saturated fat intake.
What are good fats?
Not all fats were created equally. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (also commonly known as omega fats) are considered healthy fats that we recommend eating in moderation.
Omega 3 & 6 (polyunsaturated fats) are not only good for you, they’re essential — your body can’t produce them so you must get them from your diet. Omega-9 fats are good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.
Eating foods rich in omega fats helps the body to absorb vitamins A,D, E, and K, and can decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Distinguishing these from bad fats and practicing modest consumption is the key to making Betr lifestyle habits.