Good Fat vs. Bad Fat: Which One Are You Eating?

By Lisa Shanken | Healthy Living

With all the anti-fat themes present in the media, you might wonder if there is such a thing as good fat. Isn’t all fat bad?

I have good news for you...the answer is no! Fat plays its own role in our as a useful tool to better absorb soluble vitamins and by lining our stomachs, helping us feel full. When we’re feeling lethargic, fat serves as an emergency energy reserve. Fat is also used in nutrient transport and in insulating nerves. We also need fat to build cell membranes, and it’s also a major component in some hormones. Although fat is required in our diets, we need to make an informed choice about which type of fat to eat.

Fatty meat contains saturated and trans fat.

Bad Fat Defined

Bad fat sources, like saturated and trans fats, negatively impact our health and we really need to limit our intake. Examples of foods containing high amounts of saturated and trans fats include animal fats like fatty meats, chicken skin, butter, cream, ice cream, full cream dairy foods, as well as the fat found in biscuits, pastries, cakes, coconut milk and palm oils. These ‘bad’ fats are generally solid at room temperature

Good Fat Explained

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are ‘good’ sources of fat. These fats are found in canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts and seeds, avocados and fish. These fats are in liquid form at room temperature.

Good Fat Wins

It is essential to have a daily dose of ‘good’ fat since it provides beneficial nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants, as well as the essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.  The Heart Foundation recommends that we replace saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  You can swap butter with non-hydrogenated margarine spread; dip bread in extra virgin olive oil instead of spreading butter and vegetable oils instead of animal-fat oil. Opt for white meat like chicken, turkey, and pork instead of red meat.

Where To Find Good Fat

The richest sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, canola oil and canola spreads avocados, peanuts and peanut oil. Other sources include eggs, chicken, some fish, macadamia nuts and hazelnut.

Polyunsaturated fat can be found in vegetable and seed oils, like sunflower, soybean, corn and cottonseed oils, and polyunsaturated margarine spreads made from these oils. Other sources include some nuts (like walnuts, pecans), oats, wheat germ and rice bran.

Fatten up my blog.

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