Good Fats vs. Bad Fats. How To Tell The Difference

You’re looking to lose weight, which means avoiding all fats, right? Wrong. You actually need fats in order to lose weight, but you don’t want to eat any old fat. There are certain fats that your body processes well, and others that cause issues. To the untrained eye, all fats may look the same, but in fact, they are vastly different from one another. Here’s how to tell the difference between good fats and bad fats.

Good Fats

Our bodies are made up of fats. Every single cell has a lipid layer around it to hold it together. Without fats, our cells would cease to exist. Not only that, but several vitamins and minerals require fats to be absorbed by the body. Good fats work with your body and create cholesterol fighting agents like HDL. You want to eat naturally occurring unsaturated fats.

  1. Omega-3: Most adults need somewhere between 1.1-1.6 g of ALA fats a day. Heart healthy omega-3 can be found in fish and flax seeds. You can supplement this with fish oil capsules, cod liver oil, and algae oil.
  2. Olive Oil: This delicious oil is great for cooking and adding to salads and vegetables. Use about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on your needs.
  3. Avocado: This popular fruit is native to the Americas in mexico up through California. It also has about four grams of protein per fruit. It doesn’t have a strong taste, making it the perfect addition to salads, salsas, and sandwiches.
  4. Nuts: We all know about the protein power of nuts, but did you know that they also are packed with great fats? Peanuts and peanut butters are good, but there are tons of other kinds of nuts that are great for you too. Cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia, walnuts, and pistachios are other excellent nuts to add to your diet.

Bad Fats

Other forms of fat clog up our arteries and increase the bad cholesterol (LDL). Most of these fats were created with some form of human intervention. These fats are preferred by manufacturers because they give food a long shelf life so that they don’t go bad. You want to avoid things that say trans and saturated fat.  

  1. Margarine: It’s almost butter, but not quite. It’s had some man-made intervention to create a animal fat substitute that would last longer than regular butter. In the late 1800s, Napoleon challenged scientists to make a butter that the troops and lower class people could use. It became a popular option during the Great Depression and WW2 because of its price and shelf life. Now that we know its negative effects on people, there is a push to remove it.
  2. Hydrogenated Oils: The gets its name from a process where hydrogen is added to liquid fats to make it a solid. Things like vegetable shortening, fried foods, and ready to use dough are all good examples of products with hydrogenated oils.

Eat as many good fats as you can and avoid the pre-packaged bad fats. You’ll feel better, digest food better, and have a healthier heart. Plus, you’ll find that the natural healthy fats taste better, too.

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