Fat - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, hydrogenated fats, partially-hydrogenated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fats. Slightly confused? This article presents the simplified basics of fat. There are only two kinds of fat. Bad fat which is bad for you, and good fat which is good for you.

Bad fats:

Among other things, bad fats increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, and damage the immune system Sources include: animal fats, fried foods, homogenized milk, lard, margarine, processed cheese, processed meats, processed vegetable oils (especially tropical oils), shortening, any fats added to food during processing, any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Besides animal fats, bad fats include most fats which have been altered by heat or processing.

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Good fats:

Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Your body needs fat to function properly. Fat is used in the production of cell membranes. Fat carries fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, from your food into your body. In addition to being an energy source, fat also helps maintain healthy skin and hair, protects vital organs, helps insulate your body, and provides a sense of fullness after meals. Fats provide the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, which are not made by the body and must be obtained from food. Low-fat diets can be harmful to anyone, but especially to children which need a certain amount of fat in their diets for the brain and nervous system to develop properly.

Sources include all fats in their natural source, such as: avocado, coconuts, eggs, fish, goat milk, leafy vegetables, nutmeg, nuts and seeds, olives and extra virgin olive oil, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, rice germ, sunflower seed, walnuts, and wheat germ. These fats must be in their natural form, unadulterated by man.

Although fat is a necessary ingredient of our diet, we must remember that it is not one of the basic food groups. Fat supplies more than twice the number of calories per gram supplied by carbohydrates or protein, so over consumption of even good fats can lead to weight gain.

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