Archive for October, 2014

The Good and Bad Side of Fat

pie and ice cream
Almost all of us think that achieving a healthy and slimmer body requires burning and shunning away from fat. While this can be true for people who are tipping the scales on the extreme side, people who are within reasonable distance of their ideal weight should think about starving themselves of fat.

There are fats and there are fats. And when it comes to fat, not all fat is created equal. Fat is needed by the body as an energy source. It is also essential for absorbing vital A, D and E. In fact, some studies show that people ate a Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fat were able to lower their risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The Good Fats

Monounsaturated fats increase the level of good HDL cholesterol and decrease bad LDL cholesterol. Major risk factors for cardio vascular diseases include clogged arteries which is a result of plaque buildup. Monounsaturated fats help clear plaque buildup improving blood flow. This type of fat could also prevent the buildup of fat in the belly area.

Monounsaturated fats could be found in almonds, peanut products, avocados, canola oil, sesame seeds and olive oil. It is recommended that people include two to three tablespoons of olive oil daily. This increases the levels of HDL to lower risks for cardiovascular disease.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower LDL or bad cholesterol. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is important for normal brain development, cell health and immune functioning. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent blood clots and can help people suffering from arthritis. Omega 6 on the other hand is necessary for keeping the skin and eyes healthy.

Rich sources for Omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, mackerel and cold water fish. It could also be found in squid or calamari oil. Plant based sources for Omega 3 includes walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil. Omega 6 can be found in safflower oil, corn oil, farmed fish and beef. The benefits of calamarin oil and cold water fishes make them a perfect match for many healthy dishes.

Taking too much Omega 6 could have negative effects on your health. This can lead to inflammation and aggravate the condition of people suffering from arthritis. Your polyunsaturated fats should mostly come from Omega 3. These are essential for many normal brain growth and development. It also lowers your chances for stroke and heart disease.

The Bad Fats

Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels and risks for cardiovascular disease. It blocks arteries and decrease blood flow. These could be found in dairy products, coconut and palm oil, and meat. You should limit your daily intake of saturated fats at ten percent of total daily calories.

The Ugly

And you think it couldn’t get worse. Unsaturated fats often undergo chemical processes and are found in processed and packaged foods. This is to increase shelf life. It lowers levels of HDL or good cholesterol and promotes the buildup of LDL or bad cholesterol.