Fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, it can be confusing when you often hear fat must be avoided because it can lead to many health problems. What everyone needs to know is there are good fats and bad fats. Some information can help you make healthy choices.
Differences Between Good And Bad Fats
Unhealthy fat has a negative effect on your cholesterol levels. It decreases your good cholesterol while increasing the bad cholesterol. Most unhealthy fats have been hydrogenated. The specific types are saturated fats and trans fats. These bad fats are often found in processed foods and packaged products.
In contrast, healthy fat is unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat can control your cholesterol levels, help you lose weight, and is good for your heart. These fats can be found in natural foods such as avocados, nuts, fish, certain oils, and natural peanut butter.
Many vitamins can only be absorbed when there is fat in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are only effective when your diet includes healthy fats.
A third category is low-fat products. While you can be misled into believing you should consume no fat at all, there can be an additional problem. When fat is removed from a product, it can be replaced with refined carbohydrates. There can be health complications from refined carbohydrates, too.
Common Misconceptions About Fat
There is a number of common myths about fat.
– Eating fat will lead to obesity. As obesity is a serious health concern today, it is important to know this belief is not true. While consuming too much of any product can cause weight gain, a sensible amount of fat in your daily diet will result in natural energy instead of weight gain.
– Butter vs. margarine. The fact is neither of these products are good for you, because both butter and stick margarine are high in saturated fats. Stick margarine also contains trans fat. For the healthiest option, use safflower, olive, or canola oil. If you must use margarine, use liquid or soft margarine in a tub.
– All fat is unhealthy. This is not true when you choose the right kinds of fat. You actually need to eat fat to stay healthy.
– All fats are alike. There are significant differences between healthy and unhealthy fats. By staying informed and reading labels, you can make healthy choices.
– Low-fat diets are always best. Although you need some fat every day, the source of the fat is an important factor. There are many low-fat products you should avoid entirely, and choose healthier sources of dietary fat.
Guidelines For Choosing Healthy and Good Fats
Cooking and serving food can result in more fat than you realize. It can be extra fat that you neither need nor want. One approach to ending unhealthy habits is to use food preparation methods that do not require fat. Bake, boil, broil, or grill your food instead of frying.
When you do need fat for preparation or serving, make healthy choices. The best option is a liquid plant oil. Olive oil and other oils do tend to have more calories, but they are much healthier than margarine and butter.
Unhealthy fat is present in many foods. Dairy products and red meat contain saturated fat. Eat fish or chicken as your source of protein. Choose non-fat milk and other non-fat dairy products as a source of calcium. You can also obtain calcium from seafood and dark green leafy vegetables. The best sources of good fat are natural, healthy foods. Some foods you can add to your diet include fish containing Omega-3 fats, almonds, walnuts, natural peanut butter, and flax seed products. You should have one or more servings of Omega-3 fats every day.
Reading labels is a healthy habit to develop. If you are not sure whether a product is healthy or unhealthy, check to see if they contain hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or saturated fats. Eliminate these products from your diet as much as possible.
Healthy choices can reduce your risk of weight problems and heart disease. It affects your blood sugar levels and your cholesterol. Your body can be lean and strong, and you can enjoy more natural energy from natural food.
It is not extremely difficult to make the right choices. It begins with a sensible diet that includes the foods you should eat. Preparing and serving meals without adding bad fat can be a simple process with delicious results.
While you should choose natural foods whenever possible, reading labels can keep bad fat out of your diet. You can enjoy all of the benefits of good fats, reduce your risk of health problems, and have better overall health in the future.