Fat has become a pretty bad word. Anyone who is called fat instantly can feel a spike go through them, and when you see too much of it on your steak it becomes a disappointment. We see how much fat is in something and we think, “No way am I putting that into my body.” But fat doesn’t have to be a bad word. Fat doesn’t have to be scary. It’s the kind of fat that matters.
Should You Stop Eating Fat?
There are different types of fat in food. Some of them are good for you, some of them are okay in moderation, and some can lead to heart disease. The four fats that we find in food are:
- Trans fat
- Saturated fat
- Monounsaturated fat
- Polyunsaturated fat
Trans fat is the worst fat. Stay away from trans fat if you can. Trans fats have no known health benefits, and there is no safe level of consumption. Trans fat can wreck your cholesterol levels and can create inflammation. Trans fat contributes to insulin resistance which increases the risk of developing diabetes. Research shows that every 2% of calories from trans fat you consume on a daily basis, the risk of heart disease is raised by 23%.
Saturated fat is a little less overbearing on your health than trans fat, but that doesn’t mean you need to start filling your cabinets and fridge with it. Common foods that have saturated fat are red meat, whole milk, cheese, and coconut oil. Too much saturated fat can raise your risk of heart disease; nutritionists suggest that eating under 10% calories of unsaturated fat a day is the limit.
Foods like olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, and most nuts are good sources of monosaturated fat. This type of fat improves your cholesterol levels and can help with cell maintenance helping to keep you healthy for longer. For optimal health, it is suggested to keep your intake to around 25%-30% of calories containing monosaturated fat.
Polyunsaturated fat can also help improve your cholesterol levels like monounsaturated fat. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty and omega-6 acids which can help prevent or even treat heart disease in stroke. Polyunsaturated fat can also help with high blood pressure, arthritis, and dementia. Foods you can eat with polyunsaturated fat are:
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
- Canola oil
Good Fat or Bad Fat?
So when you are meandering through the grocery aisles and you are skimming through the nutritional label on all of the food, look to see what kind of fat is used in the food. Not all fat is bad, but there is some fat that can cause you some serious health issues down the road. Be smart about your fat!