More than not, fat is labeled to be BAD… But did you know there are ‘good’ fats? Do you know what a ‘good’ fat is? Do you know what a ‘good’ fat can do for your body? Hopefully the following information will allow you to read ingredients labels more proficiently and help you understand just how important consuming ‘good’ fat is…
Let’s start off by categorizing bad and good fats and where they are typically found…
SATURATED FAT: This fat will generally increase your total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eating food that contains this fat raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Many foods high in saturated fats are often high in cholesterol… This fat is often contained in animal products- such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, lard and dairy products (cream, butter, yogurt, etc…). Coconut, palm, palm kernal and other tropical oils.
TRANS FATTY ACIDS: This is an unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream, similar to saturated fat. This is present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, shortening, commercial baked foods (crackers, cookies and cakes) and many fried foods (doughnuts and French fries).
Hydrogenation is a process where the molecular structure of a fat is altered so that the fat becomes “hardened”. Why? For the simple reason that hydrogenated fat does not turn rancid- for many, many, many years… This process of hydrogenation converts fat in to a type of cellulose, similar to plastic (ewwwww). This also goes for partially hydrogenated fat.
MONOUNSATURATED FAT: This healthy fat can lower total cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). This fat has also been found to help in weight loss, particularly in body fat. You can find this fat in nuts, including peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, avocado’s, canola and olive oils.
POLYUNSATURATED FAT: This healthy fat also lowers total cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol. This fat can be found in fish, like salmon, trout and herring, as well as corn, soybean, sunflower and safflower oils. Omega 3 fatty acids belong in this fat category- found in fish oil and flaxseeds.
WHAT GOOD FATS CAN DO…
There are many benefits on why to trade in your bad fats for good, healthy fats. Researchers are finding that you need to eat fat to lose fat. Fat is just as important in a diet to any other nutrient, but of course we’re talking about healthy fats- like the ones I’ve listed above. Healthy fats do so much for our body. Good-for-you fats support your immune system; detoxify your body and aid in cell reproduction, brain function, energy production and blood sugar regulation to keep your insulin levels from spiking and dropping. Fat is crucial because it surrounds and protects your organs, boosts your metabolism and promotes healthy, beautiful skin and hair. They can also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers; help build muscle, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Good fats can also help with the absorption of certain vitamins and carotenoids.
Eating these healthy fats can actually help your body burn fat, since it burns these fats as fuel instead of storing it. When you consume good fats, your body will crave less of the bad stuff. Fat stabilizes blood sugar, as mentioned above. If you don’t get enough fat (healthy for the most part), you’ll crave carbs because the body turns carbs into fat. Fat can help you feel satisfied and satiated so you tend to eat less, and fats can also boost your metabolism. Since fat helps to regulate blood sugar, this assists in weight management by keeping insulin levels stable and warding off any sudden cravings for sugar and carbs.
The American Dietetic Association suggests adults aim to get between 20-35 percent of their total daily calories from fat (that’s usually between 50-60 grams of fat for a daily calorie consumption of 1,600-2,000). General recommendations call for the mostly poly and mono unsaturated fats, some saturated fats and a very small amount of cholesterol and trans fatty acids.
At THE FIT FACTORY we carry several products to assist in your healthy fat consumption… Here are a few:
Myogenix Myo Lean Evolution- a meal replacement protein shake with tons of healthy stuff, including fats…
Myogenix Aftershock Post-Workout Shake
Nature’s Answer Liquid Omega-3
Twin Labs Fish/Flax Combo Oil in caps
As always, any questions, concerns- please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!!