good fats vs bad fats

Good fats vs bad fats

Gone are the days when we were all led to believe that all fat is bad. As it turns out, there are good fats. And no, that’s not an oxymoron. And no, that doesn’t mean you can pig out on sugary treats and fatty fried foods. We need to examine good fats vs bad fats to sort out what we should and shouldn’t be incorporating into our diets.

Good fats vs bad fats – all you need to know

There doesn’t need to be much confusion when it comes to understanding good fats vs bad fats.

Good fats = unsaturated fats. This includes monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Bad fats = saturated fats and trans fatty acids.

Good fats vs bad fats in our diets

Examples of good fats include:

  • Omega 3 (found in salmon, trout, mackerel, catfish, flaxseed and walnuts)
  • Antioxidant vitamin E (found in olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds)

Examples of bad fats include:

  • Saturated fat in animal products (found in meat, dairy, and eggs)
  • Vegetable fats that remain in liquid form at room temperature (such as coconut oil and palm oil)
  • Artificial trans fatty acids (found in baked and fried goods, packaged snacks, some margarines, and microwave popcorn)

The benefits of good fats

  • Enable us to enjoy soft beautiful skin.
  • Provide those all-important fat soluble vitamins.
  • Re-fuel our bodies and give our energy levels a boost.
  • Improve our heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • When used to replace bad fats, good fats help lower cholesterol levels.

How much fat should we eat?

Herein lies the problem. Although we have established the differences between good fats vs bad fats, this does not mean that you can eat as much good fat as you want. As a general rule, the minimum recommendation is that 10% of your calories to come from good fats. Some guidelines suggest that ideally 20 to 35% of your calories should consist of good fats. As the name suggests, bad fats should be minimised in our diets.

For more information on how to incorporate the right amounts and types of fat into your diet, consult a professional dietitian for a nutritional plan that’s tailored to your needs.

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