Which fat do you eat, and which do you stay away from
By Ea Francisco | Photos by Mira Bozhko and Roberta Sorge/Unsplash
The general idea is that fat in food is bad. When you look at the nutritional facts, people say cut if it has too much fat. However, there are actually good fats and bad fats. There are kinds that have health benefits, so cutting it off completely isn’t good, especially when adults need to get 20 to 30 percent of their calories from fat.
These are found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil. It’s a fat that lowers cholesterol level and includes omega-3 and omega-6, which are considered ‘essential fatty acids.’ These fats can’t be made and can only be taken from food. Omega-3 controls blood clotting, lowers blood pressure, and reduces inflammation. It can be found in fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines. Even canned fish has a lot of omega-3.
Canola oil, olive oil, and avocados have a lot of this fat. This type raises the good kind of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Among all the fats, this should be consumed more.
This is the kind that should be limited because it increases cholesterol, but it also raises HDL to an extent. Saturated fats aren’t entirely bad, but it should be taken in moderation. It comes from meat, seafood, and dairy products. Foods rich in saturated fat also helps with weight loss.
Of all the fats, this one should be avoided. It increases bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein and decreases HDL. Snacks and fried food are rich in trans fat. Natural trans fat exists but only in minimal amounts, but artificial trans fat has added hydrogen and is used in processed food.
One shouldn’t generalize all fats because there ones that are actually good for the body. It’s difficult to avoid fat since it exists in most foods, even vegetables. Knowing the good and bad fats can help in finding healthier alternatives to the usual diet.