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A good guide to good fats


A good guide to good fats

For many years, fats were a no-go zone.  They were urged to be banished from our diets and replace with artificially sweetened foods and low fat foods.  However, the shift didn’t make for a healthier nation, in fact obesity and life-style related illnesses grew.  They are now an epidemic.

Fat is a very important part of your diet and is a major source of energy.  Healthy fat helps you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, it is need to build cell membranes.  It is also essential for blood clotting, muscle movement as well as inflammation, which is an important part of the healing process.

The healthy fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  The unhealthy fats are those industrial made trans and hydrogenised fats.  Unsaturated fats are somewhere in between. 

Trans fats

The worst type of dietary fat is commonly known as trans-fat. It is a by-product of a process called hydrogenation.  This is a form of food maker’s modernisation where the healthy oils are converted into solids in order to prevent them from becoming rancid. This manufactured substance is known on the ingredients list as partially hydrogenated oil.

Consuming foods that are rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.  Trans fats create inflammation that is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  Due to the awareness and knowledge about the harmful effects of trans fats, they are slowly being faded from the food supply chain.

Good fat

Good fats are mainly sourced from vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish. There are divided into 2 broad categories of beneficial fats.  These are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Monounsaturated fats. These are the fats that are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil and sesame oil.  Also, nuts and avocadoes.

Polyunsaturated fats.  There are 2 main types of polyunsaturated fats.  These are the omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids.  The latter is found in the oils and the former is found in fish.

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