There is often a lot of confusion regarding the fats and their harmful effects on health. Should we completely abandon the fat and turn towards a fat-free diet, or are there any solutions to the fat problem?
Experts agree on the most points when it comes to fat in our diet. Some points are still debatable, however. Understanding the following will clarify many points and help you in your healthy living endeavor.
Natural vs. Processed Fats
Before we dive into the types of fats and their benefits and harms, it is worthwhile to note that as a general rule of thumb, fats in natural foods are almost always a better choice as compared to processed fats. For example, fat in nuts, fruits, eggs, and dairy is far better than the fat in artificial dressings and hydrogenated oils created by industrial processes.
Quantity does matter. Taking good fats according to your daily requirements is the best thing you can do. But take good fats in excessive quantities, and they will be accumulated in your body and start playing a negative role.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are very good for healthy living. They raise good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, and improve many aspects of your health. These fats are found in nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts; fruits like avocados; oils like olive and canola oil; and seafood like fish and fish oil.
Most experts agree that saturated fats are harmful to your health and increase the risk of heart diseases. However, many experts argue that it is not the saturated fat that causes heart diseases, but it is our sedentary lifestyle and the quantity of fat we consume that cause diseases. Saturated fats are found primarily in meat, poultry, and dairy. They are also found in some plant sources like coconut and palm oil.
Trans fats are the most harmful ones. They are often created by industrial processes to increase shelf life. They can be found in hydrogenated oils, doughnuts, French fries and most processed foods.