Wondering about the differences between good fats and bad fats? Here’s what you need to know.
With the rise in popularity of high-fat diet plans like the ketogenic diet, the paleo diet, and Atkins, you may be wondering about the difference between good fats and bad fats.
Fats are important for proper nutrition, and not just for people on keto. They provide some energy and contain nine calories per gram. Although it may seem like fats would slow down weight loss because of their high calorie count, fat actually helps keep you full. Eating high-quality fats as part of a well-balanced diet may help you manage diabetes, Candida overgrowth, thyroid problems, and other health conditions.
This article reviews good fats versus bad fats.
These fats are found naturally in all fat-containing foods in varying ratios. Most foods contain a combination of these types, but typically, a food item contains a single predominant type of fat and much smaller amounts of the other two.
Monounsaturated fats are good for your heart, and olive oil is a widely used monounsaturated fat. It’s heavily featured in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Other monounsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in nuts and seeds but also in seed oils like peanut oil and canola oil. Unfortunately, seed oils may not be the healthiest fat choices.
Omega-3 fat, a type of polyunsaturated fat that helps boost brain and heart health, is found in foods like salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
Omega-6 fat, another type of polyunsaturated fat, is found in nuts, seeds, and other plant foods. It’s important to include plenty of omega-3 fat in your diet to balance your body’s ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which can help prevent adverse health effects.
Saturated fat and cholesterol
Although saturated fat and cholesterol were previously implicated in heart disease, new research suggests that sugar and processed foods may play a larger role in disrupting heart health, along with contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes. Cholesterol and saturated fat are found primarily in animal products like meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.
High-quality sources of saturated fat and cholesterol like those listed above are not unhealthy, but highly processed sources of saturated fat and cholesterol—such as pastries, ice cream, processed snacks, and other sweets—should be limited.
These unhealthy fats can be detrimental to health and should be limited in your diet.
Small amounts of trans fats are naturally occurring. However, man-made trans fats are very harmful to health. These fats—made from partially hydrogenated oils—are now banned in the US.
Processed seed oils
According to some experts, processed seed oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and vegetable oil may be highly pro-inflammatory and bad for your health. These foods aren’t naturally oily, so an involved chemical and physical extraction process is required to remove the oil. More natural plant-based oil options include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Healthy eating and choosing good fats can be part of an important lifestyle change, but supplements can help, too. Our supplement pills from Medlixr contain powerful ingredients like apple cider vinegar and green tea extract and may help you regain your health.