Posts Tagged ‘fats’

Fats – Good and Bad

Having heard so much about trans fats lately and how New York City has banned the use of them in restaurants, I wanted to find out more about them and why they are so bad. I thought you may be interested too.

Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to help make them solid. They can also be referred to as partially hydrogenated oil. Restaurants like to use them for their fried foods as they makes the food taste good, have a long shelf life, and are pretty inexpensive to make. Unfortunately, they are not good for your health, as they raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

There are four different types of fat: trans, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. The first two, trans and saturated, are not good for you. Trans fat can be found in a lot of fried foods and baked goods, and most stick margarine has trans fat. Saturated fats can be found in red meat and dairy products. Trans and saturated fats can clog arteries and may increase your risk for heart disease.  The other two, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, are much better choices. Polyunsaturated helps to lower your bad cholesterol and is found in fish like salmon, herring, and trout, as well as many nuts and seeds. Monounsaturated can be found in oils like olive, canola, and soybean. These are oils that are recommended when you fry or saute food. Even though these fats are better for you than trans and saturated fats, they still should be eaten in moderation. There is a lot of information at the American Heart Association if you want to learn more.

We all need some fat in our diet, but when you have a choice, choose foods made with poly or mono unsaturated fat. Your body will thank you for it!