The Good & Bad Fats
"Fat in food is equated to fat on hips—but it's not the same! Our bodies need certain fats.
There is one you should keep as an enemy: man-made Trans fats, which have been shown to raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol. Unlike other unsaturated fats, which tend to have health benefits, these have been chemically altered through a process called hydrogenation to make the product they are in easier to sell (for example, some foods contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats to make them last longer on store shelves).
Unfortunately, you may not even be aware they're in a product; thanks to tricky labelling laws that allow manufacturers to list zero grams of Trans fat as long as a serving contains less than 0.5 grams. To avoid them, stay away from food whose ingredients panel lists hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
So get into the habit of reading the labels on the food that you buy. You have only one body where else will you live when you become ill.
Note; Many food manufacturers and fast-food chains are claiming they have removed or reduced Tran’s fat. But it still lurks in many foods.
Choosing Healthy Fats
As we now know, fats are not always bad things. Just as there are bad fats that contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other maladies, there are good fats that fight those things by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol), reducing inflammation, and providing cancer-preventive antioxidants
The best fats are those high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and other important nutrients such as oleic acids and omega-3 fatty acids. But you can't use the healthiest oils for every purpose...
Eating fat can be heart-healthy if you pick the right kind. Eating lots of refined carbs—like white bread and white rice—can increase triglyceride levels according to research, which can contribute to heart and blood vessel disease.Polyunsaturated fats
Goal: Get more!
You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. This category encompasses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t make them—we have to get them from food.
Polyunsaturated fats can help lower your total cholesterol level
Saturated fat increases total cholesterol and LDL, and may boost your type 2 diabetes risk. Meat, seafood, and dairy products are sources of saturated fat. Some plant foods, like palm and coconut oil, also contain it. Animal or vegetable, saturated fat carries the same risks.
Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products to get their key nutrients while cutting saturated fat.
Goal: Get more!
Unsaturated fats are mostly good guys—although trans fat is technically an unsaturated fat. However, healthy unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, while trans and saturated fats are solid.
To increase your unsaturated fat, replace solids, like butter, with olive and vegetable oils, and swap red meat for seafood or unsalted nuts. (Seafood and nuts also contain saturated fat, but usually less than red meat.)
Goal: Get more!
Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL. Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources.
Trade sour cream dip for hummus (which is rich in olive oil) or guacamole; use veggies or whole-wheat chips to dip. Try peanut oil in a stir-fry to jazz up your diet while helping your heart. (Avoid peanut if are allergic)
Omega-3 fatty acids
Goal: Get more!
In the world of good fats, omega-3s are superstars. They fight inflammation, help control blood clotting, and lower blood pressure and triglycerides.
Fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources, Greaves says. You don’t have to break the bank to get them; canned Alaskan salmon and canned sardines are okay too.
Vegetable sources include soy, walnuts, and some vegetable oils.
Goal: Limit or eliminate
Trans fats are liquid oils bombarded with hydrogen so they stay solid at room temperature. They’re found in many processed and fried foods.
Trans fats increase total cholesterol and LDL, or bad cholesterol, and lower HDL, the good cholesterol.
Why choose Healthy Fats?
They provide antioxidants. Research shows diets that include healthy fats can have a beneficial effect on cholesterol and may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of many diseases because of the anti-inflammatories properties.
Add Avocados to your diet. Mix some flaxseed to baked potatoes, cooked grains and cooked vegetables. Include walnuts and olives to your salads.
Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed (ground), oils (canola, flaxseed, soybean), and nuts and other seeds (walnuts, butternuts and sunflower).
Most foods contain several different kinds of fat, and some are better for your health than others. You don't need to completely eliminate all fat from your diet. In fact, some fats actually help promote good health. But it's wise to choose the healthier types of dietary fat and then enjoy them — in moderation.
Note; Consult your Dr before making any changes to your diet.