Dietary Fats, are they all bad?

There are 4 main types of fats; monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans fats. Lets take a closer look at their pro’s, cons and their sources. The short answer is no, not all fats are bad.

Monounsaturated Fats

– Generally considered to be a good source of dietary fat.

– Can reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood, the “bad cholesterol” and in turn reduces cardiovascular disease risk.

– Found in avocados, olives, extra virgin olive oil and nuts.

Polyunsaturated Fats

– These are made up of Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

– In order for these fats to be good, we want to consume an even balance of the both of them, as they compete for the same biochemical processes in the body.

– Based on the average diet, the intake of Omega-6s are much higher than recommended.

– Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish such as sardines, salmon and herrings.

– Omerga 6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils and flaxseed.

– Depending on your Genes, the amount of polyunsaturated fats in the diet can be crucial in blood cholesterol levels, with some people needing more, and others needing less.

Saturated Fats

– Mostly found in animal products, think meat and dairy, but also in plant sources such as coconut.

– Not all saturated fats are created equal, try and focus on the healthier sources listed above over the processed versions.

– We do need some level of saturated fats in our diet, however some people are more sensitive than others.

Trans Fats

– These fats are found in highly processed foods, think fast foods, deep fried and margarine.

– These fats are not natural and have been created to help manufacturers extend the shelf life of food.

– There is no nutritional benefits to trans fats and have been linked to poor cardiovascular health.

– Keep these types of fats as minimal as possible in your diet.

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