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Cholesterol Good and Bad Fats

Posted by on Thursday, September 23, 2010, 3:22
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Good and Bad Fats

The body needs fats to maintain health. However, overeating foods that contain too much ‘bad’ fats can be very dangerous to your health, causing high cholesterol and heart disease risks.

Cholesterol Good and Bad Fats
Cholesterol Good and Bad Fats

The rate of obesity and general bad health has risen dramatically over the past few decades, mostly due to the foods most of us eat. These foods are high in fats that are not good for our bodies and can end up making us have bad health issues like heart disease and high cholesterol. In this article we will discuss why we need fat, and what the different types of fat – both good and bad – are.

What is Fat?

Dietary fat is a fundamental nutrient our bodies must have to maintain health and daily performance. As a source of energy, it provides important fatty acids for many things such as healthy skin, management of bodily performance, growth, and vitamin absorption. At 9 calories per gram, fats have the most calories while carbohydrates and protein only have 4 calories per gram of fat.

Fats are mainly stored as adipose tissue in the body but can also be found in plasma and other cells. Fat cells also store energy and are used to insulate and cushion organs in the body. However, just because fat is necessary for the body to stay healthy, it is not recommended to over indulge in high fatty foods. The FDA and the USDA recommend that a diet should contain up to 30 percent of calories from fat but no more.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are the worst of all fats. These fats can cause health problems such as heart disease and high cholesterol if not eaten in moderation. Saturated fats are most commonly found in red meats, processed meats, coconut oil and dairy products. You can tell if something has high saturated fats by leaving it out and letting it get to room temperature. If it then becomes hard, it has a high amount of saturated fats in it.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats are the good fats that often help people lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats have also been known to help with in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain as well as certain skin problems. These fats are also known as omega-3 fatty acids and are commonly found in types of seafood including mackerel, trout, salmon, herring and sardines. You can also buy spreads and supplements with omega-3 in them. Some oils even have this good fat in them, such as sunflower, safflower, corn and grape seed.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are another bad fat that can be found in commercially fried foods and baked goods. Crackers, cakes, pastries, French fries, and donuts are major sources of trans fat. Trans fats come from combining hydrogen to the vegetable oils that are frequently used in packaged foods and are commonly used by most restaurants and fast foods chains. The American Heart Association recommends that the daily diet not exceed a total of one percent of trans fat.

Mono Unsaturated Fats

Mono unsaturated fats were once thought to be neutral as far as having effects on one’s health. Today it is thought that mono unsaturated fats are, like polyunsaturated fats, good for the body and can actually reduce risks like heart disease. Mono unsaturated fats are found in abundance in a diet called “The Mediterranean Diet”.

The body needs fats to maintain health. However, overeating foods that contain too much ‘bad’ fat can be very dangerous to your health, causing high cholesterol and heart disease risks. So make sure that you keep track of how much bad fat you ingest each day so that you do not over do it and put yourself at risk for heart disease and obesity.

Michael Rupkalvis runs the LifeFormulas website, which offers a unique blog about his day-to-day activities with ITV Ventures and their many health-related products. One of the products sold through that business is WaferThin which is a unique weight loss and obesity reduction product.

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