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Fats: Getting to know the good and the bad guys


Fats: Getting to know the good and the bad guys

Like it or not, humans always need fat. As a major source of energy and a tool for vitamin and nutrient absorption, fat is vital necessity.

Many humans, however, perceive it negatively primarily because of its kind are really bad for the body. “Bad fats” such as saturated fats and trans fatty acids, or trans fats can lead to heart disease. Nevertheless, unsaturated or “good fats” namely polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are still the number one ally of the heart against diseases.

Before labeling fat as an enemy, let us first get to know how it really affects our body, particularly our heart.

Bad fat

Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for the heart mainly because they help block the coronary arteries, which eventually leads to heart disease. The easiest way to distinguish them from the good guys is to see most of them they react to room temperature: they solidify at once. Still, liquids that contain bad fat such as whole milk, cream, and coconut oil still retain their form.

The harmful saturated fats are usually found in palm, coconut, and vegetable oil, beef, and dairy products such as butter, whole milk, and cheese. On the other hand, the saturated fat called stearic acid, which can be found in pure chocolate, is still good for the heart. But when it comes to trans fat, there is no good, only bad. Usually found in meat, baked (hello, cookies, cakes, breads, and crackers), fast food, and dairy products, trans fats not only increase your harmful cholesterol level, they also lessen the healthy ones.

Good fat

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the good guys. They mainly come from vegetable and fish products and are usually in liquid form, unlike the bad fats.

Polyunsaturated fats, commonly found in corn oil, are necessary for everyday bodily functions. Since our bodies cannot produce them, we need to take them in from food. Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids and omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids, the two types of polyunsaturated fats, help produce cell membranes which are important to blood clotting, muscle contraction and relaxation, and inflammation. They also help improve your cholesterol profile. Not only that, research has also proven that omega-3s and Omega-6s help prevent and treat heart disease.

Meanwhile, monounsaturated fats are accompanied by polyunsaturated fats in replacing the bad fats. These kinds of fats are usually found in olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts.

SOURCE: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Truth-about-fats.shtml


This entry was posted in Health on December-23-14

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