For the most part, if you are a conscious eater you know that there are different kinds of fat in the foods we eat. Some are healthy fats and some…not so much. In the simplest terms, fats are nutrients that provide energy and they help to absorb different vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Here’s a brief overview of the different types of dietary fats you come across and how they affect your diet and overall health.
In general, the foods you eat typically have various types of fat in them. What you need to look out for are foods that have too high of a content of saturated and trans fats. These are the two main types of fats that are detrimental to your health.
Saturated fat is commonly found in animal products and has an adverse effect on health. One of its properties is that it becomes solid at room temperature, which is why it is sometimes called “solid fat.” Tropical oils like coconut and palm oil and cocoa butter have high saturated fat content. These oils are not only used for cooking they are also common in snack foods. Butter contains a heavy amount of saturated fat, as does red meat, milk cheese, and other dairy products. This type of fat is also known to raise LDL cholesterol.
Trans fat is an artificial fat that has changed through hydrogenation. By heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen, you can create trans fat. Saturated fats are hydrogenated in order to preserve the products they go into for a longer period of time. This process not only makes foods last longer in the grocery store and your home, they make fat harder at room temperature than ordinary saturated fat. This type of fat is commonly found in processed foods, snack foods, margarine, and foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated oils.
A healthy diet requires fat; however, the important thing is to replace the “bad fats” in your diet with the following fats.
Monounsaturated fat is known to lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and maintain the “good” HDL levels high when you also lower your intake of saturated fat. This particular type of fat can be found in avocados, nuts, and oils like canola, olive, and peanut oils. Eating these types of foods can lower your risk of heart disease.
Polyunsaturated fat is found in plant–based food and oils like sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils. A diet that includes fish is rich in polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fats which are a particularly important type of polyunsaturated fat. These types of fat cannot be produced naturally by your body, so you need to get them from eating.
Combining healthy fats with a great workout routine can help you ward off common diseases that result from a poor diet. A daily workout at PumpFit can boost your body’s ability to process nutrients and healthy fat. Try us today with a free 3-day pass.