Fats In Your Food The Good Fats And The Bad Fats
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Article Title: Fats In Your Food The Good Fats And The Bad
Author: John Vanse
Word Count: 746
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We read and hear so much about the problems of fats in our
foods these days. Its seems that some fats are bad fats and
some are healthy fats - but what are they?
Saturated fats are high on the `bad fats' list in our foods.
They are found mostly in foods we get from animals, and from
Those from animals include pork, beef, veal, lamb, and poultry
and also foods derived from them beef fat, lard, poultry
fat, butter, cream, cheese and other dairy products made from
The highest levels of saturated fats from plant sources in our
foods are found in coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil and
in cocoa butter [which is used in making chocolate].
Why are saturated fats `bad fats'?
Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high blood
cholesterol. It is recommended by heart health authorities that
you should limit your saturated fat intake to 710 percent
(preferably less) of your total calorie intake each day.
If you have coronary heart disease or if your LDL cholesterol
level is higher than 100 mg/dL you should consult your doctor
about the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Diet. In the TLC
diet it is recommended that no more than 25% - 35% of your daily
calorie intake should be from fat, and that the amount of
saturated fat in your daily diet should be less than 7% of your
daily calorie intake.
Trans fatty acids also known as `trans fat':
During food processing some fats undergo a chemical process
called hydrogenation. This chemically changes the fats which
limits your body's ability to regulate cholesterol when you have
eaten these trans fats.
This chemical change occurs mostly commonly in the manufacture
of margarine and shortening. Trans fats are widely found then in
foods such as vegetable shortening and some margarines and in
the many food products which use these in their manufacture -
foods such as crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack
foods, fried foods, salad dressings, and many processed foods.
Trans fats are considered to be the most harmful to your health
because there is a direct, proven relationship between diets
high in trans fat content and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels
and, therefore, and increased risk of coronary heart disease a
leading cause of death in the US.
If you use hydrogenated fats, and it is difficult to eliminate
them completely from your diet, ensure they contain no more than
two grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. The saturated fat
content of most margarines and spreads is printed on the package
or on the Nutrition Facts label and you should always read these
There are two unsaturated fats - polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated. These are found primarily in oils derived from
Polyunsaturated fats are found in safflower, sesame and
sunflower seeds, corn and soybeans, many nuts and seeds, and the
oils made from these seeds and nuts.
Monounsaturated fats are found in canola, olive and peanut
oils, and in avocados.
Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help lower
your blood cholesterol level when you use them in place of
saturated fats in your diet. That is, in place of using fats
with a high saturated fat content, such as butter, lard or
However, you should realize that a moderate intake of all types
of fat is best. Just because polyunsaturated or monounsaturated
oils and margarines and spreads made from them are better
for you, you should still only include limited amounts of them
in your diet.
You can see from this discussion that there are "good" fats and
"bad" ones. To put it simply, saturated fats and trans fat have
bad effects on cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats and
monounsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation, have beneficial
effects on your health.
This is general information only. If you have any queries or
concerns about the fats you are currently including in your
diet, and the effects they may be having on your health, you
should consult your doctor to have your cholesterol levels
checked. If you want more detailed information about what
specific foods should or should not be included in your diet,
ask your doctor to recommend you to a nutrition expert.
About The Author: John Vanse has a network of health related
websites. These sites, and more information about cholesterol,
can be accessed through the key site in this network at:
Please use the HTML version of this article at:
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