Which fat do you eat, and which do you stay away from?
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 and bad kinds. And studies have shown that consuming the good kinds is all part of a healthy diet. So cutting it off completely isn’t necessarily good, especially when adults need to get 20 to 30 percent of their calories from fat.
1. Polyunsaturated fats
These are found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil. It’s the type that lowers cholesterol levels and includes omega-3 and omega-6, which are considered essential fatty acids. These 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.
2. Monounsaturated fats
Canola oil, olive oil, and avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats. This type raises the good kind of cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Among all the types, you should consume this more.
3. Saturated fats
This is the kind that should be limited because it increases cholesterol and 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.
4. Trans fat
Of all the varieties, avoid this one. It increases bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein and decreases HDL. Processed snacks and fried food are teeming with this partially hydrogenated oil. Natural varieties exists but only in minimal amounts, but the artificial ones have added hydrogen and is used in processed food. It’s so bad that the Thai government is even finalizing a proposal to ban it owing to its association with heart diseases.