What are Good and Bad Fats? Benefits of Healthy Fats
Thinking is fat good for you? What are good fats and bad fats? Which fat is good for you? These are some of the most commonly asked questions. Here is everything you should know about dietary fats and the benefits of healthy fats for your body.
Fats are an essential part of a healthy and fulfilling diet. It is important to include healthy fats and the exclusion of unhealthy fats from your diet. There are two types of fat, Good fats, and bad fats:-
Good or healthy fats
Polyunsaturated fats and Monounsaturated fats are the “good fats”. They are good for heart health, cholesterol, and maintain overall health. There are various benefits of healthy fats
- Minimizes the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Prevents abnormal heart rhythms.
- increasing good HDL while reducing the level of bad LDL cholesterol
- fight inflammation and lower triglycerides which are linked with heart disease
- Prevent atherosclerosis
- Lower blood pressure.
When you add more healthy fats in your diet, you will feel fuller and satisfied after a meal, it will reduce your hunger pangs and thus it will help in weight loss.
Monounsaturated fat –sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive, peanut, canola, and sesame oils
- Nuts (almonds, macadamia, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews)
- Peanut butter
Polyunsaturated fat –sources of polyunsaturated fats include:
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish ( mackerel, salmon, tuna, trout, herring, sardines)
- fish oil
- safflower oil
Bad or Unhealthy fats
Trans fat. trans fats can be found in dairy and meat products in small amounts but what is considered dangerous is artificial trans fats. This type of fat increases the bad LDL cholesterol in the body and also lowers the level of good HDL in the body. Artificial trans fats can also cause heart diseases and other chronic health conditions and like insulin resistance and can develop Type 2 diabetes.
Trans fat –sources of trans fats include:
- Ready baked pastries, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, muffins, pizza dough
- Packaged snack food items ( microwave popcorn, crackers, chips)
- Fried foods (fried chicken, chicken nuggets, French fries, breaded fish)
- Stick margarine, vegetable shortening
- hydrogenated vegetable oil
Saturated fat. These are less harmful than trans fat, but saturated fat is responsible for raising bad LDL cholesterol and consuming too much quantity of saturated fats can affect heart health. Saturated fats should be limited to 10% of the daily calories.
Saturated fat –sources of saturated fats include:
- Red meat ( pork, beef, lamb,)
- dairy items which are whole fat-like (milk, cheese, cream)
- Chicken skin
- Ice cream
- palm oil
- Coconut oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered as a type of polyunsaturated fat and have many health benefits. There are three types of omega-3s: DHA and EPA which are found in fishes and algae are the most beneficial for health, ALA is found in plants and this is a less powerful form of omega-3.
Health benefits of omega-3s fat include:
- Prevent and minimizes depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD
- Prevents heart disease, and stroke
- Minimized risk of cancer
- Protects memory loss and dementia
- Ease joint pain, arthritis, and reduces inflammation or other skin conditions
- Necessary for a healthy pregnancy
- Sharp memory, keeps energized, and balance out your mood