How can you differentiate between good and bad fats?
The technical answer relates to the chemical makeup of fats. The organic makeup of the molecule determines how easily and readily a fat can bind to other sources, and how readily it can be digested and/or absorbed
These fats are classified as either monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s), Saturated or trans fats. These different types of fat have either HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). HDL’s can lower heart disease risk, and mediate insulin and blood glucose levels, while LDL has the complete opposite effect.
MUFA’s→ walnuts, avocado, peanuts, olives, etc. Be weary of non-cold pressed oils such as corn oil or soya oil. Opt for oils such as peanut oil, or extra virgin olive oil instead to ensure you have the MUFA’s. I’ve been asked personally if avocados are worth-while cutting out. In my opinion, avocados are definitely on the top of my food-chain. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats, full of vitamin E (which has a plethora of benefits like boosting immunity), and it is high in folate acid, which is great for pregnant woman. Also, you can use avocados to make just about anything; avocado brownies, avocado chocolate mousse, salad dressing, etc.
PUFA’s→ Omega 3 sources such as salmon, fish oils, mackerel, corn, spinach, kale, flaxseed. These oils must be refrigerated, or the bonds can break. Omega 3’s can help with multiple different bodily functions such as: Reduce the risk of dementia, reduce anxiety and depression, reduce stroke, heart disease and cancer risk, and reduce inflammatory conditions.
Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol which in turn could raise blood pressure, ultimately causing further conditions such as atherosclerosis, so you must be careful with these types of fats. Believe it or not, they are found in coconut oil, meats and eggs, so be sure not to overdo it. Conversely, however, it has also been found that consuming these types of fats can help with weight control and health maintenance, so do not cut these out….everyone loves an egg! Consider the source that these are coming form and if they are high-quality sources such as organic, grass-fed meats.
Trans fats are the kind of fats you want to ensure you avoid wherever possible. Trans fats are fat sources that have been denatured through a hydrogenation process where liquid oil is combined with hydrogen gas while heated. These fats increase LDL and increase cardiovascular disease risks. These are found in margarines, French fries, microwave popcorn, etc. Using these types of fats, even to cook a healthy piece of salmon with can cause the food to become potentially harmful. Avoid fast food and fried food
Cooking with fats→ this is an issue not many people consider. When cooking with fats, there is the potential to denature the bonds of the molecular makeup. This means that it is easy to cause a healthy fat to become potentially harmful. Each type of fat has it’s optimal cooking temperature, so be sure to learn what temperatures these may be, as any higher can do harm.
So, quick answer! EAT FATS, ENJOY FATS, AND DON’T OPT FOR “LOW-FAT” OPTIONS…..just be careful of what types of fats you are choosing. Go for a sushi roll instead of French fries. Simple, right? Also, low-fat options are usually filled with sugar…this means that there are many unnatural ingredients, which means they won’t provide you with the nutrients that the normal product may, as well as subjecting yourself to other additives.
Why is fat integral to our health?
Fat helps to absorb, digest, as well as assist with nerve transduction and cell membrane construction and integrity.
Helps assist with healthy hair and nails…sold!
Fat can help you feel fuller for longer
Fat can help add some flavor to you otherwise healthy meals to help you to continue eating healthy
Don’t cut out any MUFA or PUFA or saturated sources, as they all help perform essential bodily functions, and can help fight cardiovascular disease.
Weight loss and fats?
1g fat= 9kcal, this means that fats are considered “energy-dense” foods, as they offer a lot of energy for small amounts. This is one of the reasons “low fat” trends came, in, as foods were able to be offered as lower calorie. However, many studies show that subjects consuming a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet were more successful with weight loss, as they felt more satisfied and felt fuller longer o This can put butter, coconut oil, peanut butter, bacon, olive oil and fish on the menu…count me in!