Fats: Not all Bad

22 Feb

I really didn’t understand fats until a few years ago.

I grew up with everyone around me saying fats were bad and fats make you fat!

I was still too young to know better, so I ordered fat free dressings on my salad, things cooked with no oils, I decided not to eat avocados, nuts and all vegetable fats! I really thought animal products were fine, as were processed foods (!?!) I had no idea what I was doing! I was letting the TV and magazine ads dictate the terrible way I was eating.

It wasn’t until I read a book about good fats that my perspective changed. This was a few years after medical school, where I heard a few things about fats, but mostly that I should stay away from them!

After reading the book I finally understood that everything in my diet was wrong. I still had a lot of research to do but I was on the right path to understand that: vegetable fats were the good fats, animal fats were mostly the bad fats and processed food fats were the terrible fats! Or as Dr. Mark Hyman says “the ugly fats.”

Good fats

Good fats are unsaturated fats. They help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) and also reduce inflammation.

Some examples include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seeds and flax seed oil
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Sardines

Bad Fats

These fats are saturated fats that block arteries, leading to heart disease. They cause weight gain that is liked to diabetes and have been also linked to cancer.

  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Beef
  • Butter
  • Pork
  • Chicken

Trans Fats

These are the worst of them all. They are man-made, toxic and dangerous. They increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

They are present in most processed foods like:

  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Frozen dinners
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Cakes

Eat mostly good fats, little amounts of saturated fats and zero trans fats!

Eat healthy, be happy!

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