Fats 101 For Healthy Diet And Cooking
by Chef Murph
Heart health and weight management should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, since, the consequences of ignoring these issues can be disastrous.
According to the Center For Disease Control, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States each year, which, equates to a total of about 1 in every 4 deaths. Also, heart disease is the leading cause of death with heart attacks killing about 720,000 people each year.
Diabetes, overweight and obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise are risk factors for heart disease, and specifically the ingesting of too much unhealthy fats.
The reality is that a lot of heart attacks in this country are preventable by following a healthy diet on an on-going basis.
A high fat diet results in the clogging of heart arteries, and too much daily fat intake can result in significant weight gain that can cause obesity and subsequently Type 2 Diabetes and other preventable medical conditions.
Unfortunately, too many times people think about their diet when it’s too late, such as, after a heart attack, or after a diagnosis of clogged arteries or when they are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes as a result of obesity.
The Right Diet
With more and more people being concerned about living a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to understand how fats work, and those that are healthy and unhealthy.
Yet, there are many of us who knowingly or unknowingly ingest or eat foods which are unhealthy.
Most of such foods are also very tasty which adds to the attraction of our senses. However, it is important to know what to eat or not to eat in order to live a healthy and long life, and one of the most important aspects of healthy eating is the fats we eat.
Taking the time to learn and understand proper nutrition and the significance of fat will ensure that you make healthier choices, which, can one day save your life.
All About Fats
While all fats are not bad, in fact some are downright necessary, it is important to classify them to understand what our body really needs.
There are the better fats and the bad fats.
Some common uses of the better fats are that they keep our body warm, plus they also protect out vital organs. Additionally, they aid in digestion and are necessary in producing some hormones.
See the chart to see which fats are good, which are bad and all the details.
|Better fats||Bad fats|
|Know the fats |
Where are they found
Effects on our body
Consumption limit per day
Eat them right
|The better fats are the monounsaturated fats and the polyunsaturated fats|
Monounsaturated fats are found in a variety of vegetable oils, nuts such as almonds and peanuts and even peanut butter, in avocados and olives, while polyunsaturated fats are found in foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 such as fatty fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel, and nuts’ seeds like that of the sunflower or pumpkin. The better fats as mentioned above keep our body warm, protect our organs, and help in digestion and hormone production. But their main use is actually to reduce blood cholesterol level and reduce the risk of a heart disease. According to scientists, the amount of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that we can consume per day ranges from between 25% to 35% of our daily meal.
Consumption of an adequate amount of the good fats can be maintained by increasing home cooked meals. Buy more of fish and nuts to get the right amount of dose. Snack on nuts’ seeds instead of the deep fried food and/or crackers.
|The bad fats are better known as saturated fats and trans fats|
Saturated fats are found or come from animals and meats, as well as dairy products like cream, cheese, butter, etc. Trans fats are found in pretty much everything we love, starting from fried foods, to pastries and cakes or anything else baked likes pies and muffins, moving on to a lot of snacks like crackers and popcorn, and even in margarine and vegetable shortening.
The main drawback of these bad fats is that they increase the blood cholesterol level as well as give rise to blood pressure. Consumption of these foods may lead to one developing a heart disease. These fats are also known for increasing weight gain.
Under no circumstances should our daily consumption of saturated fats be more than 7% of the entire food content. Trans fats consumed should be even lower per day, that is, 1%.
Consumption of trans fats and saturated fats needs to be reduced to sustain a healthy life. For that, eating out must be restrained. Also, one should try to cook with vegetable oils as much as possible instead of using heavy creams or butter.