Thursday, October 4, 2012

HEALTH- Are There Any Good Fats?


We all need fats. Fats help nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, maintaining cell membrane integrity etc. However, when consumed in excess amount, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancer. All fats are not created equal.

The Good Fats
Monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, avocado, canola and olive oil are high in monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats have also been found to help in weight loss, particularly body fat. Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group.

The Bad Fats
Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Trans fats came into being as scientists "hydrogenate" liquid oils so that they can withstand better in food production process and provide a better shelf life. As a result of hydrogenation, trans fatty acids are formed. Trans fatty acids are found in many packaged foods, commercially fried food such as French Fries, other packaged snacks such as microwaved popcorn as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.

Coconut oil is over 90 percent saturated fatty acids, which is where it gets most of its negative reputation. Unlike long-chain fatty acids associated with bad cholesterol, medium-chain fatty acids are more easily digestible and don’t clog arteries. These medium-chain fatty acids can provide energy, boost the metabolism and may even improve your thyroid function, reports

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