It is common thinking that in order to lose weight or to prevent heart problems, a person needs to eat fat-free foods. The reality is that all fats are not bad fats. Good fats (monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s) are effective in controlling the cholesterol level as well as manage the weight issue. Bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats) are responsible for obesity and heart related problems.
There are lots of myths about fats. So let’s have a look at them first.
1. All fats are equally bad for health
This is not true. Bad fats that are responsible for heart diseases, obesity or increases cholesterol level are Saturated fats and Trans fats. Whereas Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good fats that help in lowering the cholesterol level in blood and prevents heart diseases.
2. Reducing the consumption amount of overall fat in your diet is all that you need
In order to stay healthy, you need to consume some amount of good fat. So, making a proportion of good to bad fat in your diet is what actually matter than just directly reducing much required fats intake. So, if you want to stay healthy, you should consume more good fats rather than bad fats.
3. Fat free labeled means it is healthy
If you see a fat free label on the product, that does not mean it’s healthy. Most of the fat free products are high in refined carbohydrates and unwanted calories. So, in spite of controlling your weight, they may lead to weight gain.
In order to completely understand fats, you need to know their types:
1. Good fats
– Monounsaturated fats
– Polyunsaturated fats
2. Bad fats
– Saturated fats
– Trans fats
Sources of good fats:
1. Monounsaturated fats sources:
– Olive oil
– Sunflower oil
– Nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans)
– Sesame oil
– Peanut butter
– Canola oil
2. Polyunsaturated fats sources:
– Soybean oil
– Corn oil
– Safflower oil
– Pumpkin seeds
– Sunflower seeds
Along with Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, there is another type of good fat called Omega-3. You can get omega-3 from canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean oil and ground flax seeds.
Sources of Bad fats:
1. Saturated fats
– Whole-fat dairy products
– Ice cream
– Coconut oil
– Beef, pork
2. Trans fats sources
– Candy bars
– Fried foods
– Packaged snack foods
People, who are thinking about reducing the overall fats from the diet, should replace saturated fats and trans fats with Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Studies show that to live a healthy lifestyle, you should consume 20 to 35% fats of total calories. Limiting your saturated fats intake to about 10% of total calorie consumption is a healthy choice. One should not consume more than 1% trans fats of total calories.