For many years, fat, in general, was considered a harmful part of daily diets. However, researchers have found that not all fats are unhealthy. In fact, certain types of fats are considered good ones that you should include in your diet. When you’re picking out food at the store, it’s important to understand how to identify good and bad fats on the label. Keep the following information in mind during your next trip to the grocery store.
Fats to Avoid
Trans fats and saturated fats are considered bad fats that you should avoid in your diet. Trans fats, which are found in baked goods and other highly processed foods, come from oils when they’re hydrogenated to keep them from spoiling. While this gives them a longer shelf life, it makes them unhealthier for people to eat. Trans fats don’t provide you with any nutrients, but they do raise the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other health issues. Fortunately, more and more food manufacturers are replacing trans fats with healthier alternatives.
Saturated fats, which are found in red meat, dairy items and processed foods, have a lot of hydrogen atoms that surround carbon atoms. This causes them to remain solid rather than becoming liquid at room temperature. These fats can increase your risk of having high amounts of bad cholesterol in your blood. While more recent studies have questioned the link between heart disease and saturated fat, this type of fat is still considered unhealthy overall. If you eat foods that have saturated fats, limit them to below ten percent of your total calories per day or replace them with healthier fats.
Fats to Consume
Unsaturated fats, which have fewer hydrogen atoms around carbon atoms, are considered good fats. These fats are mostly found in fish, vegetables, nuts and similar types of foods. Healthy unsaturated fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, which include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, can lower the amount of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon and other oily fish, walnuts and flaxseed. Foods with omega-6 fatty acids include safflower, sunflower and corn oils.
When you consume food with good fats, keep in mind that your portion size matters. Although these fats are considered healthy for you, it’s still important to eat them in moderation. Pay close attention to portion sizes, and you won’t end up consuming too much fat overall.
Do you have concerns about your nutrition? Contact us at Superior Healthcare Physical Medicine in Katy, TX to schedule an appointment with the nutritionist at our office.