Know your fats

Know your fats…

Not all fats are created equal. There are good or healthy fats and bad fats. Our bodies need good fats.

Fat is considered a macro nutrient, along with carbs and protein. It supplies the body with energy and our organs benefit when we eat healthy fats.

To put things in perspective… One gram of fat equals nine calories. One gram of carbs or protein equals four calories. It is essential that you choose healthy fats and eat them in moderation.

Healthy or good fat is unsaturated fat. There are two types, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both are liquid at room and cold temperatures. The primary source of monounsaturated fat are plant oils like canola, peanut, and olive oils. You can also get them from avocados; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans; and seeds like pumpkin and sesame.

Polyunsaturated fats contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot make Omega-3, so it is important that we eat foods that supply us with this essential fatty acid. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, reduces bad cholesterol, and is believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart decease, and chronic disease.

Polyunsaturated fat is found in sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils and in walnuts, flax seeds, and fish.

Bad fats are saturated and trans fat. Both are usually solid at room temperature and have a high melting point.

The primary source of saturated fat is animals. It can also be found in some vegetable oils like coconut and palm. Poultry and fish both have saturated fat, but much less than found in red meat. Saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol increasing your risk of coronary heart disease.

Trans fat is very bad for you! The primary sources of trans fat are fried foods, processed baked foods, and some margarines. Trans fat lowers your good cholesterol and raises your bad cholesterol significantly increasing your risk of coronary heart decease.

Bottom line… seek out monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Supplement your Omega-3’s with a pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Eat foods with saturated fat in moderation and strive to eliminate trans fat.

Recommendations on total calories from fat varies. Try to stay under 30% of your total calories from fat. Read the labels!

If you need a good quality Omega-3 supplement feel free to contact me. Until later… Kathi