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Fats that are actually good for you

May 26, 2008 6:20:54 AM PDT
Mono, poly, trans, saturated -- All fats, all different. It's no wonder we're confused what to put in our mouth. If you look at fat as the good, the bad and the ugly, remember monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are both considered good because they help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol levels.

All oils contain a blend of mono, poly and saturated fat. It's the percentage of each that determines its category.

Peanut, olive, avocado and canola are all good monounsaturated choices. Grape seed, corn and walnut oils are also beneficial yet higher in polyunsaturates.

Yet the Cadillac of polyunsaturats is found in omega three fats, which is found best in heart healthy fish like salmon and trout. Experts want us to eat up to thirty five percent of our daily fat calories from these two types of fats.

The bad, or at least the not-so-good category, is saturated fat. This fat should be consumed in small doses as it can increase both good and bad cholesterol. The professionals recommend just ten percent of our daily intake come from these fats, found mainly in animal sources and tropical oils like palm kernel and coconut oils.

And when it come to the ugly, the worst type of fat hands down its trans fat. Trans fatty acids that are produced come from vegetable oil chemically processed to blend ingredients and stay solid at room temperature. That is great for the shelf life of food, but is bad for the heart because it raises LDL or bad cholesterol levels. There's no upper limit for this fat, so having none it all is the best way to go

No matter what type of fat your eating all fat contains 9 calories per gram. If that doesn't translate well, think about this, a tablespoon of oil contains 120 calories, all coming from fat.

When it comes to weight loss, your body doesn't care which type you eat they're all the same. But when it comes to heart health, poly and monounsaturated fats are your friend.

 

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