We're all familiar with our cravings where not being able to tear our looks away from a batch of cookies or a pound of steak, is all but familiar. Ever wonder how much of 'bad fat' is packed into most of your favorite fatty food options? Wondering why those love handles or stubborn pot bellies refuse to melt away even if the gym is where you spend half your time at? It's the fat. Nothing but the fat. Even when you have an active lifestyle, an overload of fat can deter your effort of wanting to cut down on your weight. Here we will explain why 'bad fat' needs to cut down to a minimum, and 'good fats' significantly increased in your diet. Let's take a look at the types of fatty foods and the fat kinds that constitute these.
Types of Bad / Good Fats
Get one thing right, that fat is an essential element that is required for normal body functioning, however it is the excess of this fat which is harmful. Also there are various types of fat, some of which are beneficial to the body where others aren't. Here are some of the important functions of the right amount of fat in your body:
- Fat is a source of energy
- Fat acts as a carrier for essential fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K and aids the supply/circulation of these vitamins throughout the body.
- Fat acts as a protective cushion that protects the vital organs of the body
- The fat also includes essential fatty acids which are beneficial to the cardiac health as well as your immune system.
There are several types of fats, and hence it is imperative to know which kind of fats should be included in your diet. Fats are divided into two main groups of saturated
Unsaturated fat is the 'good fat'. Consumption of unsaturated fats is usually because of its vegetable sources. Unsaturated fat molecules are liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fat are further divided as monounsaturated
fats. Common sources of unsaturated fats are vegetable oils like olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower, or even soy oil. Unsaturated fatty foods contain high traces of omega-3 fatty acids which any health expert would recommend a dose of in high amounts throughout the week.
Saturated / Trans
Saturated fat is the ugly sister, which has been linked with several health problems. Saturated fat is usually included in the diet from animal sources. The saturated fats are responsible for increasing 'bad cholesterol' (LDL) levels which results in adverse negative effects on the health of a person's heart. It is generally solid at room temperature. Another type of fat, which is worse than saturated is trans
fat. This is the most harmful type of fat, because it not only increases 'bad cholesterol' levels but also reduces 'good cholesterol' (HDL) levels. In addition to being naturally available in sources like whole milk and full-fat dairy products, there are several synthetically prepared trans fat products that are a regular constituent of several processed foods. Foods containing artificial trans fats contain up to 45% trans fat as compared to their natural fat counterparts. It is advisable that less than 7% of saturated fat be consumed within a day, and less than 1% of trans fat. Most fatty foods exceed these limits, therefore it is wiser to cut down on these fats to once a week of indulgence than on a regular basis
☠ List of Foods High in Saturated and Trans Fat
Ill Effects of Fatty Foods
- Chicken Fat (skinless is healthier)
- Ice cream
- Some forms of margarines
- Palm oil
- Coconut oil
- Frozen foods
- Potato Chips
- Canned eatables
- Goat meat
- Junk food
- Ready-to-eat packaged foods
- Instant soups (canned / packed)
- Breakfast cereal (certain kinds)
- Cream-filled cookies
- Dips / Sauces
Excess consumption of fatty foods especially the ones containing 'bad fats' will have adverse effects on your health. For one, excess consumption of saturated fat clubbed with a sedentary lifestyle will result in obesity. Obesity itself is linked with several diseases and is a disturbing health factor in the United States. Some of the common disorders associated with obesity are an increased risk of heart problems, type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, hypertension, and even osteoarthritis. Consumption of excess amounts of saturated fats is also one of the major reasons for increased levels of 'bad cholesterol'. Excess of cholesterol leads to atherosclerosis
which involves building up of cholesterol on the walls of arteries which can obstruct blood flow and hamper its course, which can lead to a myocardial infarction, or even an heart attack.
The best thing you can do for your body is to respect it and change your diet for the better. Incorporate good fats into your diet which packed with other nutrients that your body silently craves for. Choose ingredients like avocado, walnut / macadamia nuts, pumpkin / sunflower / sesame seeds, green /black olives, olive / safflower oil, salmon, tuna, peanut butter, and ground flax seed for their numerous benefits.