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Know Your Fat Facts

The Good and the Bad

You've heard it before, and you've had a hardtime believing it, so we're going to say it again, and this time, we're goingto prove it. Not all fats are bad. Here's what you need to know about the fats in your food- the good, the bad and the ones that are killing you slowly.

Monounsaturated Fats - Good for you

Known as "Good Fats", this type of fat is found in a rangeof delicious foods. Numerous studies have shown that consuming foods rich inmonounsaturated fats (MUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels, and decreasesyour risk of heart disease and breast cancer. MUFAs have also been known todecrease insulin levels and aid blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have Type 2 diabetes.MUFAs also helps with weight loss,increasing energy levels and smoothening of hair and skin.

Primary Sources: Olives, olive oil, nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans

Polyunsaturated Fats - Okay for you

This fat is found in plant as well as animal foods,for example, salmon, and vegetable oils. PUFAs can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as the risk of heartm disease and type 2 diabetes. One type of polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids is especially beneficial for your heart, and is found in some types of fatty fish. It appears to decrease the risk of coronary heartbeats and high blood pressure levels.

Primary Sources: Walnuts, soybean oil, flax oil, sunflower seeds, corn oil, fish

Saturated Fats - Bad for you

Food items high in saturated fat are usually animal-based, but there are plant foods high in saturated fat, too. One of the unhealthiest fats in the world, saturated fat raises your total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.

Primary Sources: Butter, lard, tallow, suet, high fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, cheese, etc.), high fat meats, palm kernel, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, cheese

Trans Fats- Terrible for you

These are the fats that are so bad that you actually feel guilty while eating them (or at least, you should). Most Trans fats are made from oils through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation, a process that makes them easier to cook with and less likely to spoil. Make sure you read the trans-fat quantity of the nutrition label of food items before you buy it. Anything more than 0 grams is risky. Studies have shown time and again that partially hydrogenated Trans fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and even increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Primary Sources:Sweet stuff like cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, biscuits, fast food like burgers, pizza, pies, French fries, margarine, anything fried, instant noodles and beef.