Not All Fats Are Created Equal!

Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 1:19 am by


Are fats created equal?

We were blessed with different types of fats.  Some fats contribute to good health, while other fats are considered as the bad guys since they do more harm than good to your  photo oil-in-the-bottle_zps861f986a.jpgbody.

Fat is a concentrated source of energy as every gram of it is equivalent to nine (9) calories.  It assists in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins- Vitamins A,D,E and K. Nonetheless, fats were also believed to play a role in heart diseases.  Fat is a dense source of calories so when you eat more of this macronutrient above what you essentially require for your daily activities, you will tend to gain weight.  Obesity makes you more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart diseases.

What are the Types of Fats?

There are fats that are perceived as healthy.  The healthy fats include polyunsaturated fats, the omega 3’s, and monounsaturated fats.  They are often regarded as the good fats because they are good for your heart and your health, too.  The health benefits as well as the food sources of these good fats are as follows:

The Good Fats

  • Monounsaturated fats– commonly found in vegetable oils such as canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil and sesame oil as well as avocados and olives. Monounsaturated fats reduce your risk of heart diseases as it improves your cholesterol level in the blood.
  • Polyunsaturated fats– the best sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean oil, safflower oil, walnuts, corn oil, salmon, mackerel and tuna.  These are frequently found in plant sources and oils.  They also help lower cholesterol in the body.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids- a type of polyunsaturated fat which has numerous health benefits like fighting the symptoms of depression, preventing memory disorders and lessening your risk for heart diseases and stroke.  The rich sources of omega 3’s are in salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies.

The Bad Fats

  • Trans–fats – these are hydrogenated oils that increase your risk for heart diseases and elevate your blood cholesterol level too.  The sources of trans-fats include commercially baked pastries, cakes and cookies, fried foods such as French fries and fried chicken, and donuts.  Trans- fats often lead to heart problems and certain types of cancer.
  • Saturated fats- tend to be solid at room temperature and mainly found in animal products such as red meat and full cream dairy products.  Saturated fats can increase your blood cholesterol which could lead to heart ailments.

How To Choose Wisely

If you want to maintain optimum health, you have to choose wisely.  Go for the good fats. Replace the food sources of trans-fats and saturated fats with monounsaturated, omega 3’s and polyunsaturated fats.  Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Eliminate trans-fats from your diet.  Avoid commercially baked goods and limit fast food intake.
  2. Limit your intake of red meat as they contain saturated fats; you can replace them with healthier sources of fats such as soybeans, poultry, and fish.
  3. Use canola oil or olive oilin stir-frying.  The vegetable oils such as olive oil is a good source of omega 3s.
  4. Try to eat some avocados as they are loaded with good fats which help to sustain your brain health.  You can make some smoothies or incorporate avocados in your sandwiches.
  5. Use healthy dressings in your salads, such as olive oil or sesame oil.
  6. Read food labels.  By reading food labels you will be knowledgeable of what type of fat you are consuming and how much of each type.

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Image by Smart Photo Stock

About the Author

Melissa Lourdes F. De Mesa is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and Nutrition and Health Writer at Sampateek.  She also worked in a government agency for 15 years, wherein she handled implementation of Nutrition Programs at various Local Government Units.

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