Know your fats
Fats form an essential part of a person’s diet. It aids in many body processes and serves as a basic building block of cells and tissues. However, not all types of fats found in food and are consumed daily are actually good for us. Thus, it is more important to know your fats before putting them in your mouth.
The reason why fats has gained much importance and has been more extensively studied is because of the high rate of cardiovascular disease present today. A lot of people are suffering from heart attacks and high levels of cholesterol due to an unhealthy diet composed of a high number of fats coupled with an inactive lifestyle. But not all types of fats are bad; the key to healthy living lies in knowing what and how much to consume.
Basically, there are three types of fats: unsaturated, saturated, and trans fat. Unsaturated fats are broken down from the simplest to a more complex one: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in canola and olive oil while polyunsaturated fats are concentrated in sunflower oil and corn oil. These types of fat actually contribute to high density lipoproteins (HDLs) and are dubbed as the “good” types since they move cholesterol build up away from the arteries.
For saturated fats, these are found in butter, margarine, and animal meat, especially beef. These types of fats raise cholesterol highly and contribute to the production of low density lipoproteins (LDLs), which are termed as the “bad” types since they encourage cholesterol build up in the arteries and contribute to their blockage. Trans fat also fall into this category, as these are man-made fats that transform unsaturated ones to saturated ones. Moreover, saturated and trans fat are highly discouraged in the diet since they increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Knowing which types of fats are good for you and varying consumption based on their effects in the body can aid in keeping your cholesterol levels down. In addition, having a healthy diet comprising of a few fats, more leafy green vegetables, and a large portion of complex carbohydrates, protein, and calcium decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. And last but not the least, engaging in regular exercise most days a week, managing your stress levels, and having adequate rest and sleep will surely give you a healthier feeling and outlook in life.