Heart Disease, Bad Fats, and Good Fats


Heart Disease, Bad Fats, and Good Fats

When consumed in excess, some types of fat, such as trans fat and saturated fat, may be harmful to one's health. However, there may be advantages to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.


Fatty Facts

Fats are criticized when it comes to diet. Some of this is justified because cholesterol, a substance that resembles fat, as well as particular types of fat, may contribute to:

• Diabetes

• Heart conditions

• Melanoma

• Obesity

However, not all fats are created equal. Some fats are healthier for you than others and may even aid in promoting good health. It can be easier to choose which fats to consume in moderation and which to avoid if you are aware of the differences.

Although dietary fat research is still in its early stages, some facts are already known.

Foods from plants and animals both contain dietary fat, also known as fatty acids. While some fats have been found to have detrimental effects on heart health, others have been found to have substantial health advantages.

Dietary fat is just as important for supplying your body with energy as protein and carbohydrates are. Additionally, the presence of fat is necessary for some bodily processes. For instance, some vitamins need to dissolve in fat before they can deliver nutrients to your bloodstream.

However, consuming too much fat of any kind can result in weight gain due to the extra calories that are consumed.

Although foods and oils contain a variety of fatty acids, it is the predominant type of fat that determines whether they are healthy or not.


What are the Less Healthy Fats?

Saturated fat and trans fat are two types of fat that may be harmful to your health. The majority of the foods that contain these kinds of fats are solid at room temperature, including:

• Butter

• Fat from pork or beef

• Margarine

• Trimming

Conversely, saturated fats should only be consumed in very small amounts.


Use only a Small Amount of Saturated Fat

Animal fats make up the majority of saturated fats. They can be discovered in dairy products and high-fat meats.

These are some sources of saturated fat:

• Dairy products with a high fat content (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream)

• Dark chicken meat and skin

• Lard

• Lard, pork, and other fatty meats

• Oils from tropical regions (coconut, palm, and cocoa butter)

Blood cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels may rise as a result of consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat.

In the past, doctors have associated consuming more saturated fat with a higher risk of developing heart disease. More recently, this notion has been challenged.

According to Harvard University, scientists now believe saturated fat may not be as harmful as previously believed, but it is still not the best option for fats.

Saturated fats and heart disease were the subject of a 2015 review of 15 randomized controlled trials. According to the study's findings, switching to polyunsaturated fats from saturated fat can lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Despite the low risk reduction, these variations may have an impact on your health.

According to a 2017 journal article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, previous claims about the dangers of LDL (bad) cholesterol have been exaggerated, especially when it comes to how they may affect heart health.

Instead of evaluating your total cholesterol level, the article suggests evaluating your HDL (good) cholesterol level. Increased insulin resistance and heart issues are linked by doctors to higher ratios.


When Possible, Stay Away from Trans Fats

Trans fat, which is short for "trans fatty acids," is found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These fats are the worst for your health. Trans fat is possibly present in:

• Baked goods, such as pastries, cakes, and cookies.

• Fried foods (French fries, doughnuts, deep-fried fast food).

• Margarine (stick and container).

• Prepared snacks like popcorn in the microwave and crackers.

• Vegetable shortening.

Trans fat, also referred to as "bad" cholesterol, can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol like saturated fat. Additionally, trans fat can lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Trans fats and a higher risk of inflammatory disease in the body have also been linked by medical professionals. Heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are just a few of the detrimental health effects that this inflammation may have.

Choose non-hydrogenated varieties of margarines whenever possible because some may contain trans fats if they are made with hydrogenated ingredients.

The amount of trans fats per serving must be less than 0.5 g for the label to read "no trans fats" or "zero grams of trans fats," even though the product still contains hydrogenated oils.

Always read the ingredient list and disregard any marketing on the front of the package.

Meals Rich in Healthy Fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are viewed by doctors as being more "heart-healthy" fats. These Fats are Healthier Options for Your Diet

Foods that are primarily made up of these healthier fats have a tendency to be liquid at room temperature. Vegetable oil is one illustration.


Fat that is Monounsaturated

There are many different foods and oils that contain this beneficial fat.

Consuming foods high in monounsaturated fat has been repeatedly demonstrated to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and raise blood cholesterol levels.

These meals consist of:

• Avocados

• Nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, and almonds)

• Vegetable oils (such as peanut and olive oils)

• Nut butters like almond and peanut butter


Polyunsaturated Lipid

Because the body cannot produce polyunsaturated fats and must obtain them from food, they are referred to as "essential fats” the main source of this fat is plant-based foods and oils.

The American Heart Association states that polyunsaturated fat, like monounsaturated fat, can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a particular variety of this fat, have been demonstrated to have special advantages for your heart.

Omega-3s appear to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease as well as blood pressure and protect against irregular heartbeats.

Omega-3 fatty acids are present in the following food categories:

• Salmon

• Herring

• Sardines

• Trout

• Walnuts

• Flaxseed

• Chia seeds

• Canola oil

The following foods, which also contain omega-6 fatty acids, contain polyunsaturated fat in addition to omega-3 fatty acids:

• Roasted soybeans and soy nut butter

• Seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)

• Soft margarine (liquid or tub)

• Tofu

• Vegetable oils (corn oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil)

• Walnuts


Final Thought

According to recent studies, fats are more on a continuum from good too bad than previously believed.

While saturated fats have not yet been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, trans fats are dangerous to your health. They probably aren't as healthy as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, though. Although you should include healthier fats in your diet, it's still important to limit your intake because all fats are high in calories.

Therefore, it makes sense to include foods that are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It's a tactic that will be good for your heart and enhance your way of life.

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