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It is a common notion that fats are the major culprits that lead to all the weight problems and that cutting them off entirely from the diet can be a helpful solution. There’s no need to freak out with this information because there is more explanation to it. The truth is we actually cannot live without fats. This is because fats play an important role in a healthy diet. Fatty acids from fats are essential for a healthy skin. Fats also deliver fat-soluble vitamins and are great sources of energy. This is where the part about good fats and bad fats is important, and it is essential to know which fats should be avoided and which are the ones that should be included as a part of your diet. It is also important to know the amount of fat consumption and ways to avoid trans-fats (bad fats) that cause artery clogging. Let’s make a clear classification of the good and the bad fats.
The unsaturated fats are basically the good guys and these include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids. Both, when eaten in moderation, can help in lowering the risk of heart diseases as the cholesterol levels are reduced.
Polyunsaturated fats can be found mostly in vegetable oils and when substituted for saturated fats, these help in lowering the triglycerides and cholesterol levels in the blood. One such type of polyunsaturated fat with potential heart benefits is omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 is present in fish like trout, salmon, catfish etc. They are also found in walnuts and flaxseeds.
Monounsaturated fats also help in reducing heart diseases and a lot of these are consumed by Mediterranean people. These are found in olives, almonds, cashews, avocados, hazelnuts, peanut oil, canola, sesame seeds etc.
There are essentially two kinds of bad fats, saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Both can cause artery clogs and heart risks because they increase cholesterol content in the blood.
Saturated fats can be found in animal products like high-fat dairy, eggs, meat, poultry skin, vegetable fats like coconut and palm oils etc. There are a number of evidences, which suggest that saturated fats increase the risk of colon and prostate cancer. It is better to consume these in limited quantities to keep your cholesterol levels under check.
Trans fatty acids or trans fats may be naturally occurring fats, which are found in dairy and meat or the artificial ones, which are found in liquid oils that have been hardened into partially hydrogenated fats. The actual worry here are the artificial trans fats. These are used extensively in all sorts of junk food.
This is just the basic understanding about the fats, the ones which are unhealthy and the ones that are healthy for the body.