What are Good Fats and Bad Fats?

Fat is an essential nutritional factor to your dietary system. Fat provides energy and has functions similar to that of protein and carbohydrates. Certain vitamin groups require sufficient amount of fats to get dissolved in the blood stream. But excessive fat may lead to weight gain.

Foods and oils contain fats in a certain amount which makes it clear whether the fats are good or bad.

There are two types of fats: Good fats and bad fats.

Bad Fats:

There are two types of bad fats: saturated fats and trans fats. These two types of fats are said to be harmful to your health. These fats are in solid form at a room temperature in the foods such as butter, margarine, shortening and beef/pork fat.

Trans fat should be completely avoided while small amounts of saturated fats can be consumed.

1. Saturated Fats:

These fats should be used sparingly. Most of the saturated fats are contained in animal products, high-fat meats and dairy products. The sources of fats include cheese, butter, sour cream, ice cream, dairy chicken and poultry skin, tropical oils, fatty cuts of beef, pork and lamb.

Too much consumption of these fats can increase your levels of blood cholesterol and low density lipoprotein levels. Increased consumption of these fats can lead to cardio vascular diseases in the long run.

2. Trans Fats:

This fat, like saturated fats, can increase your LDL cholesterol which is also known as bad cholesterol. Trans fat can suppress High density lipoprotein levels, which is also known as good cholesterol. This type of fat is also called bad dietary fat.

Doctors have linked the consumption of trans fat with body inflammation, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. Some margarines have hydrogenated ingredients and hence, you should always opt for non hydrogenated ingredients.

Good Fats:

Mono unsaturated fats and poly unsaturated fats are termed as good fats because they are good for overall heart health, your cholesterol levels and general health. These fats help lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke. It increases levels of good cholesterol and lowers the levels of bad cholesterols.

It also helps in regulation of heart rhythms. Consumption of these fats lower the blood pressure, and bring down the levels of triglycerides that are associated with heart diseases. Atherosclerosis, a condition where the arteries are hardened and narrowed is prevented by these kind of fats.

Moreover, adding this fats to regular meals can help you feel satisfied after a meal and keep you full for a longer time. This eventually reduces hunger pangs and helps in weight loss. The sources of Mono unsaturated fats include olive, peanut, canola and sesame oil. Avocados, Olives, Nuts, peanut butter also consist of such fats.

The sources of polyunsaturated fats include sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Flaxseeds, walnuts, fatty fish, soy bean and soy milk are good sources of polyunsaturated fats.

Hence, during consumption of certain foods, care should be taken to see which foods contain what kind of nutritional value and fat types and fat content. Bad fats should be avoided as much as possible while consumption of good fats should be maintained regularly.