Which Fats Should You Be Eating?
Which Fats Should You Be Eating?
Written by: Brandi Monasco
“Don’t eat those fries, it’s all fats!”
Hundreds of times this has been either told to us or it has crossed our own mind. Fat has been a taboo since long ago and those following a strict diet cast it off completely, avoiding even the smallest bits.
What they don’t get, however, is that there are actually two kinds of fats.
Like the good-bad twin’s myth, one is good and the other is bad. As their names suggest, eating a large amount bad fat can be harmful, but at the same time, avoiding the good fat entirely is not beneficial either.
So, what makes one fat better than the other?
Bad fats are bad because the saturated and trans fats – which the bad fats are made of – are difficult to break down. Instead of being used by the body, they are simply collected and get converted into bad cholesterol. This cholesterol is very harmful and damages your body, both inside and out. The fat slowly accumulates and begins to show on the dreaded love handles and hips, tummy and back, anywhere it finds a place to cling on to.
Not only this, the bad cholesterol attaches to your blood vessels, especially the heart. Layer by layer, it grows until the blood vessel finally blocks, causing a heart attack. All those fries and nuggets you eat at McDonald’s, that butter, those cakes and even ramen noodles are high in these saturated fats, so keeping clear of these products is definitely recommended.
On the other hand, the good fat is made up of unsaturated fats, the kind that gets broken down by the body into useful products. Including this kind of fat in your diet may actually help you to reduce weight instead of gain it. Vitamins such as A, D, E and K all need this good fat to be absorbed from your intestine. Without these essential nutrients, your body will be lacking the vital foods that it needs to keep you healthy and growing.
Aside from all of this, the unsaturated fats when eaten keep your stomach full longer as they take a long time to digest. This keeps you feeling full, preventing those scavenger eating habits and actually helping you cut down on your total calorie intake.
Modifying your diet to include these beneficial fats is a great plus. How to do that is easier than you might think.
- Ditch the butter for margarine.
- Choose plant oils for cooking and baking.
- Try to stay away from excessive red meats and cheese – this cuts down on the harmful fat.
Now for the good fat:
- You need to alter your diet to include fishes like salmon or tuna.
- Eat nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds, which all contain high amounts.
- Try out avocado and include seeds as a healthy snacking option.
These alternatives to the regular chips and fries make a much healthier menu for you, your heart and your body.
All this goes to prove the golden saying: don’t judge a book by its cover, in our case don’t judge fats by tell-tale gossips. Yes, eating the bad kind of fat will harm you and make you gain weight, but removing all of it entirely, including the good fat, is not a good idea either.
Opt for balance, modify your diet to make it healthy. Every nutrient in this world has a role in our system, none were created unnecessarily. Too much of the bad fat is harmful, but you can’t thrive without the good stuff, can you?
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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