Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lowdown on Fat

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When you hear of “bad” fat or see the term on Bon’App you might wonder what is “bad” fat and how can I avoid it?  To help you with your diet, here is everything you need to know about fat - the good and the bad - from the American Heart Association!

There are four types of fat – Monounsaturated fats, Polyunsaturated fats, Saturated fats, and Trans fats.  The fats that are better for you are Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats.  The “bad” fats are Saturated fats and Trans fats.

Tip!  Saturated and Trans fats are usually more solid at room temperature and Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are usually more liquid at room temperature.

Saturated Fats

Why are they “bad”?
Saturated fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Where are Saturated fats found?
Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products like meat and diary, baked goods, and fried foods.  Palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil also contain Saturated fats.

Trans Fats

Why are they “bad”?
Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels, again increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Where are Trans fats found?
Trans fats are found in fried foods, baked goods, stick margarine, shortenings, and many processed foods. 

Tip! Trans fats are on food labels and they can also be called “partially hydrogenated oils”.

Warning! Food manufacturers do not have to list Trans fat if the product contains less than 0.5 grams of Trans fat per serving. Despite this, if you have more than 1 serving that small amount of Trans fat can add up!

Monounsaturated Fats

Why are they better?
Monounsaturated fats lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.  They are also high in the antioxidant Vitamin E.

Where are Monounsaturated fats?
Monounsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils like olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil, and in avocados, peanut butter, many nuts, and many seeds.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Why are they better?
Polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels, again in turn lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.  They also contain essential fats that you must get from food because the body cannot produce them, like omega-6 and omega-3.

Where are Polyunsaturated fats?
Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout, and some nuts and seeds like walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Tip! Although the health benefits of Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are great remember to include them in your diet in moderation!
So, make sure to use Bon'App to keep track of your bad fat intake and stay under your daily limit.
Happy Healthy Eating!

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