26 Jun The Good Fat
Summer crept up on you before you put in work on that summer body and now you’re on every paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, FitTea diet you could get your hands on. Some of you may even be considering a fat-free diet. But let’s be real, that’s not going to fix much.
A fat-free diet is possible, however, you are purposely starving your body from something that it does in fact need. The importance is knowing what kind of fats you need and which ones can do more harm than good. As with life, everything is about balance, and naturally, there are good fats and bad fats.
Trans fat is created when a liquid oil, such as vegetable oil, becomes fat through a chemical process. This is particularly detrimental to your cholesterol levels. Yea, sure, you may be young and energetic now, but if you’re loading up on fried or greasy grub that can negatively affect your cholesterol later in life. It increases your ‘bad cholesterol’ levels while eroding away at your ‘good cholesterol’. Not only does it affect your cholesterol, but your risk of heart disease among other conditions gradually increase over time if you continue to eat food with a high trans fat level. This is definitely a fat you should aim to eliminate from your daily diet.
Like trans fat, saturated fats also greatly affect your cholesterol. Found in several animal products as well as dairy, this ‘bad’ fat is more natural than trans fat, however, if not consumed in moderation, it can lead to heart disease and other serious conditions. Foods such as lard, shortening and specific cooking oils are higher in saturated fats, which in turn, will increase your LDL levels, also known as ‘bad cholesterol’. To avoid this, try reducing your intake of dairy as well as opting for leaner meat cuts.
We’ve saved the best for last. Your body naturally needs certain fats such as omega-3 and omega-6. Both of these fatty acids pack a ton of benefits for your body, including brain and nerve function maintenance as well as lowering your risk of heart disease. Some studies have even suggested that it can also decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Although there are benefits to consuming unsaturated fats, it’s important to remember that they should still be consumed rationally. Not being aware of your fat intake can lead to weight gain and other related matters.
Our friends at Physiomed suggest that eliminating both trans and saturated fats while consuming a rational amount of unsaturated fats is key to a healthy diet. Bonus tip: sticking to the perimeter of your grocery store can ensure you make better choices as this is where the healthier foods are. And if you must venture down the snack aisle, make sure you’re reviewing the nutritional label on what you’re grabbing.
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