You may of read and heard that fats are bad and quite rightly so they have had a really bad press the last decade or so especially from the media. The truth is that fats are not all that bad. There are of course healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats are really beneficial to have in your diet and are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Trans Fats are definitely unhealthy. They occur naturally in some foods in small amounts, but mostly they are man-made products achieved by hydrogenation of oils. It has been shown, that trans fats contribute to major health problems, from heart disease to cancer and therefore it is suggested to avoid them as totally as possible.
How to detect trans fats?
The widespread knowledge is that trans fats are in margarines. But it’s also good to know that they are in many other places as well. For example:
- in fried food like nuggets and French fries
- in snack foods like crisps and some sweets
- in baked foods like cakes and cookies.
We advise you look at the food labels and check for the term "partially hydrogenated” We would also advise avoiding fast food. Dietary guidelines suggest limit trans fats to 1% of daily calories. It’s possible to achieve by trying to avoid them completely.
Saturated Fats have had a stigma for a long time to be bad fats. They have also been accused of raising blood cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes. But some more recent studies have casted a shadow over this ideology. For example a study published in August in the British Medical Journal which shows that saturated fats are not associated with an increased risk of death, heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes. But as there is not yet much proof for that we can not suggest to eat much saturated fat. Rather try to be modest as it can be easy to eat over the dietary guidelines’ suggestion which accounts for up to 10% from your total daily energy intake.
How to detect saturated fats?
They are found in
- Animal fat
- Tropical oils such as coconut oil
Healthy fats are chemically unsaturated fats, which are mostly found in all kind of different plant oils and fatty fish. The most well known unsaturated fatty acids are omega-3 and omega 6 and their beneficial characteristics for health have been studied. Omega-3 has been shown to be so beneficial to your health that it had been produced as food supplement.
Scientists are still carrying on the research about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but they have shown that omega-3 may help to:
- Prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression
- Protect against memory loss and dementia
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
- Ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions
- Support a healthy pregnancy
Where do find healthy fats?
Good natural sources of omega-3 are fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil and hemp oil.
Weight and Fat
The fact is that all the fats (regardless whether they healthy or unhealthy) give us equal amount of body fuel – 9 kcal per 1gr. So eating fats - even healthy ones- can push our daily calories up which may lead to being overweight. Depending on genetics eating too much fat can increase overall bodyweight. It has been shown that a person with a certain genetic variants may benefit from having bigger amount of unsaturated fats in their diet. At the same time a person with other variants may have an association by eating more of any kind of fats can lead to a bigger waistline.
So all the dietary guidelines nowadays suggest that replace the bad fats (trans fats and saturated fats) with good fats (unsaturated fats) in your diet. But how much of a good fat is good for your weight and waistline? This can be determined by genetic testing – for example with myInnerGo Weight Basic.
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Posted on 1 Sep 08:18 , 0 comments