Understanding Your Fats and Fiber
When people discuss diet and health there are many stigmas, one of them being that all fats are bad. While fats can be harmful if taken in excess, there are many different types of fats that make up this category. The fats that make up category are: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated fats. Each of these fats are different and all play a role in your diet, some give much needed nutrients, while others have low nutritional value.
One of the essential things that is given from fats in your food are the essential fatty acids or EFA; these are essential and important to take in from your food because the body is incapable of producing EFAs (“Fat Facts: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats”, 2013). Fat also carries other necessary vitamins to include: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. According to Dr. Wahida Karmally, “Fat is also necessary for maintaining healthy skin, and it plays a central role in promoting proper eyesight and brain development in babies and children. However, fats can still pack on the bulge, at 9 calories per gram, of any type of fat, has more than twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein (“Fat Facts: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats”, 2013). Diets that are high in saturated and Trans fatty acids are known to raise blood cholesterol and can produce artery clogging compounds. This blocks oxygen flow to the heart, as well as, to the brain. Both saturated and Trans fat are daily fats that you need to limit in your diet. Saturated fats can be found in meats, butter and ice cream; while Trans fats are found in things such as margarines and packaged foods.
Trans fats are present in fatty meats and full-fat dairy foods (“Fat Facts: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats”, 2013), most Trans fats are an end product of hydrogenation. Hydrogenation converts oil into a firmer, better tasting product and giving it a longer shelf life, in this process, some of the unsaturated fat in the oil becomes saturated (“Fat Facts: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats”, 2013). Unsaturated or monounsaturated fats should be the dominate type of fat in a balanced diet (“Fat Facts: Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats”, 2013). Some of the foods that are high in monounsaturated fats can be: olive and canola oils, avocado, almonds and cashews.
Simply put you should try to stay away from Trans fatty acids and saturated fats whenever possible. Though fats have a bad reputation they are not all bad and have some essential vitamins and nutrients that can only be retrieved from things such as meat and dairy. Unsaturated or monounsaturated fats are the most beneficial fats for you and are to be taken in place of the others when possible. By eating lean meats, different assorted nuts and things like avocado you can reduce the risk of clogged arteries and high blood cholesterol.