The Scoop On Good Fats and Bad Fats

It used to be that all fats were considered to be unhealthy. With careful research and attention to diet and health, experts have found that there are both good fats and bad fats. Good fats are considered to be those that contain essential nutrients that keep our bodies healthy. Bad fats on the other hand are just that; fats that are harmful to our overall health and well-being.

Good fats are also referred to as fatty acids and are responsible for such things as nerve transmission and nutrient absorption. Good fats can also help reduce the risk of heart attack and lower cholesterol. Our bodies do not make these fats on their own however, so they must be consumed in the different foods we eat.

There are two different types of good fats; monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are those that are related to lowering bad cholesterol, while raising the good cholesterol. They can be found in such foods as nuts, avocados, canola and olive oils. Best of all, monounsaturated fats are linked with weight loss when eaten in the right portions.

Polyunsaturated fats are also responsible for lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of polyunsaturated fats and are important in the proper functioning of the brain. These types of good fats can be found in fish, corn, soy, and sunflower oils.

While good fats are necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies, they still need to be consumed in the right amounts. Too many good fats can cause weight gain or other medical conditions, such as inflammatory diseases. Instead, itís important to get the right balance of fats and replace bad fats wit the good ones.

Bad fats on the other hand, are comprised of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and contribute to an increased risk of clogged arteries and heart attack. Saturated fats come from animal products such as red meats, dairy and eggs.

Trans fats have gotten a lot of media attention in recent years because they have been engineered by scientists instead of being found naturally in food products. They are used to better food production and preserve food for longer periods of time. For this reason, trans fats are found in processed foods and fast foods.

So how do you eat the good fats and not the bad? Focus on eating fruits and vegetables and replacing red meats with lean meats and fish. Use olive oil in place of butter or margarine and stick to low-fat dairy products. Eat egg whites and omit the yolk and steer away from packaged and processed foods.
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