People generally tend to avoid all kinds of fats in their diet if they are trying to lose weight, tone or bulk up since fats have a such negative reputation. However, it’s not a smart idea to generalize all fats as the same since there are many different types and some are actually good for you.
It is important to know that fats are primarily responsible for cushioning organs as well as regulating hormones throughout our body. As such, fats are definitely a necessary part of our diet as a diet too low in fats can result in hormonal diseases, skin problems, low libido and menstrual disorders and much more. So how do we know which fats are good to eat and which ones should be avoided?
Trans fats are extremely bad for you as they increase the risk for diseases significantly even when eaten in small quantities as they are structurally deformed and hydrogenated which can cause artery clogs.
Trans fats also increase the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies and lower the amount of good cholesterol which can result in a higher risk for diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Keep in mind that trans fats are primarily present within processed foods with hydrogenated oils and avoid these as much as you can.
Another type of fat is unsaturated which can be split into two groups, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are present in olive oil, canola oil, avocados, olives and nut butters and studies have shown that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids actually improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk for heart disease.
Polyunsaturated fats are essential to your body as they are responsible for building cell membranes, covering our nerves, muscle movement and clotting our blood. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats which are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from eating fatty fish as well as from certain plant sources such as brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, flaxseed, parsley, and algae while you can get your omega-6 fatty acids from poultry, eggs, nuts, whole grain bread, and most vegetable oils.
Finally, there are saturated fats which are neither good nor bad for your body. You should include a certain amount of saturated fats in your diet and you can get healthier saturated fats through whole milk, salmon, coconut oil or grass-fed beef rather than unhealthy options such as pizza, french fries, salami, ham or hot-dogs.
Remember that it is best to limit the amount of fats you consume, but cutting it out of your diet completely is not an option as it would have an adverse effect to your health.
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