Fat Confusion

trans-fat-free-zone

Confused about all the different types of fat?  What is good and what is bad?

Good and limited fats can fight inflammation and help to prevent the onset of heart disease while also providing our body with essential vitamins and minerals needed for daily living.  Bad fats have little to no role in our health, and while they may not be prevented totally, they should only be consumed on a limited basis. 

Below is an easy to decipher low-down on the good, the bad and the ugly and what you should or shouldn’t eat.

GOOD FATS

Monounsaturated Fats: Best sources are olive oil and canola oil.  Olive oil should be used for cooking, while canola oil should be used in baking.

Polyunsaturated Fats: This includes the much heard about omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.  Most people get plenty of omega 6 through the commonly refined oils available in the grocery store such as corn and soybean oil. 

Omega-3 oils and products: Omega 3 rich foods are walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil and fatty fish products including salmon, sturgeon and striped bass.  Try to increase your intake of these products to balance out the intake of omega-6 products.

FATS TO LIMIT

Saturated Fat:  These are most commonly found in animal products, such as milk, cheese and ice cream.  The calcium and minerals available in these products are essential for optimal health, however, choose skim or low-fat/non-fat versions to limit the saturated fat intake.

UGLY FAT

Trans Fat: These are found in commercially prepared products, especially baked goods.  To avoid these, look at the ingredients list of commercially prepared products and if partially hydrogenated oils are listed, look for a comparable food item without this item. 

The most important thing to remember is not to deprive yourself of food items to avoid, just limit your intake and enjoy the ‘real’ thing on occasion.

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One Response

  1. Right on the money for the fats. Everyone would benefit from a better ratio of healthy fats — especially athletes.

    You did a good job on the list, and I will also add that some saturated fat — such as that in the form of Medium Chain Triglycerides — are healthy and a highly efficient source of energy for the body.

    Good for performance and weight management! Coconuts are high in MCTs, particularly coconut oil and coconut milk.

    Whats your thoughts on MCT’s?

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