Medical Articles

Since When Is Fat Healthy?

In reality, there is no one single fat. In fact, there are several different kinds. Fat gets a bad reputation from people throwing it all under one category. Grab something out of the kitchen and take a glance at the nutrition label. Right at the top just under calories you'll come across the total fat content. Listed under that are all the different kinds of fats that make up that total. All those nonsensical names may seem overwhelming, so the best way to make sense of it all is one at a time.

Saturated fat is one of the harmful fats. These are generally found in animal products and other unhealthy packaged foods. Simply put, it increases "bad" cholesterol and the likelihood of heart disease.

Trans fat has proven itself harmful as well. You can find this type in baked goods, fried foods, margarine and shortening. As with saturated fat, it can contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol levels.

Polyunsaturated fat represents one of the healthy fats. Vegetable oils, nuts and seed are great sources of this type. Polyunsaturated fat protects your heart by helping to maintain stable cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Monounsaturated fat can also be filed under the healthy category. Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, nuts and seeds supply high levels of monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats share many of the same benefits as polyunsaturated.

Although it may seem like a lot to take in, all of this information can be summarized in a single sentence; Avoid saturated and trans fat, and seek out polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Something as subtle as glancing at a nutrition label and picking the product with less saturated and more unsaturated fat can have a huge impact on a person's health. Having the knowledge is the first step towards a healthy life style.


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