One should be careful while taking good fat or bad fat. Saturated fats are bad for health and cause cardiovascular problems
Whenever we hear the word ‘fat’, we think of something unhealthy and non-nutritious. However, that is not true. Fats are also as essential for our body as any other nutrient. It is an integral nutrient in the diet and is important for a healthy body. However, there are numerous types of fats that are there. You just need to be careful while including it in your diet.
What is Good Fat?
The unsaturated fats are called Good Fats, also known as PUFA & MUFA. It is healthy for the body and helps with cardiovascular issues. They are used as moderating agents in the body. Good fats are healthy Mono and Polyunsaturated fats, which also include Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil. Including good fats in your diet can improve your health.
What is Bad Fat?
Saturated fatty acids are considered Bad fats or unhealthy fats. They come from processed hydrogenated fats, which are mostly solid at room temperature. These cause various cardiovascular issues. Saturated fats come from Animal Fats such as red meat, cheese, butter and tropical oils.
Also Read: 6 High Fat Foods That Are Actually Healthy
Why Is Fat Important For The Body?
Nutritionist Anurupa Bose, from Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, told us in brief about the importance of essential fats in the body. She told that not only do good fats decrease the risk of cardiovascular issues; it also plays a vital role in building up the cell membrane, reduces blood clotting and protects the organs. Healthy fats let vitamins and minerals dissolve in them, which help in providing energy to the body. Unsaturated fats also help in lowering the risk of heart-related diseases. It can also balance your food intake against other food you eat.
Types of Fats
We at OnlyMyHealth know how important it is for you to maintain your health. Let’s look at some type of fats and know which fats to intake and when.
Two types of fats can be harmful to your body and should be avoided in the best possible way-
- Saturated fats: These fats come majorly through full-fat dairy products, poultry and red meat. These can increase the chances of cardiovascular diseases because saturated fats contain high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and low density (bad cholesterol). The bad cholesterols can actually be very dangerous for health. Examples of saturated fats are - Butter, cheese, sour cream, poultry skin and tropical oils.
- Trans fat: You must have noticed a tag of 0 trans fat written on many packaged beverages. These fats are natural fats that are present in small amounts in most the food items. Most of the Trans fats are made up of oils through food processing called partial hydrogenation. These Trans fat actually increase total blood cholesterol, which can again cause cardiovascular problems. It has no benefit at all. Examples of Trans fat food are - Fried foods, vegetable shortening, cakes, pastries and processed snacks.
These fats are considered healthier fats that can be included in your diet. In general healthier fats tend to be mostly liquid at room temperature.
- Monounsaturated Fats: These fats are present in a number of food items and oils. These types of fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and can improve your health. Food rich in monounsaturated fats has a tendency to dissolve quickly with other ingredients and are thus helpful. Examples of monounsaturated fats are vegetable oils, peanut butter, avocado and nuts.
- Polyunsaturated fats- These are essential fats that your body needs in order to perform well. Since the human body does not make its own polyunsaturated fats, therefore these fats come from plant-based food and oils. These fats can also help in decreasing the risk of heart diseases and lowering the blood cholesterol level. Examples of polyunsaturated fats are soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts etc.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: It is a type of polyunsaturated fat but is made up of omega-3 fatty acids, which are especially beneficial in keeping the heart-healthy. These fatty acids are found in fish. These fatty acids tend to lower the risk of artery diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent type-2 diabetes. Examples of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish, walnuts and dark chocolates.
Precautions for Fat Intakes
Follow these tips while adding fat to your diet:
- Fats are high in calories, so while you are taking fat intake, even the healthier ones, keep in mind that you don’t consume excessive fat. All fats can be harmful if taken in excessive quantity.
- Don’t remove fat totally from your diet. It’s not a good strategy to remove all the fat from your diet because your body does need some essential quantity.
- Often many processed food items are high in processed fat; always check the labels before eating.
- Limit the intake of saturated fat to less than 10 per cent per day; if not possible, to remove saturated fats totally from your diet.
- Go for skinless poultry; make sure you take lean meat.
Tips for Healthy Eating
Want to eat healthily? Listed below are some tips on how to eat healthily:
- Do not skip any meal. Healthy eating does not mean eating less or skip any meal. Every meal is equally important for the body and having a good breakfast is most crucial.
- Your daily diet should include three major meals and two snacks in between those meals.
- Do not overeat. Take an adequate quantity of food with all the necessary ingredients but don’t overdo it.
- Drink lots of water. It is good for the body and digestive system.
- Keep a variety of food items in your diet so that you can get all the important nutrients.
- Eat food that is rich has omega-3 fatty acids. It can boost your health and protect your body from various health issues.
- If you do not consume fish, you can have cod liver oil, avocado or dark chocolates.
Nutritionist Anurupa Bose adds, "Suppose you have a habit of eating unhealthy snacks. Keep healthy snacks and have them whenever you feel hungry. I prefer eating those things which you like the taste of rather than just having something because it is healthy. Prepare simple food. A healthy diet does not mean complex cooking. Have vegetable juices, fruits and salads.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) and Poly Unsaturated Fatty acids (PUFA) are considered to be good fats. These fats are healthy for the body and prevent diseases, and helps in cell growth. Good Fats can be included in your diet and are essential for your body. Whereas Unhealthy saturated fatty acids are harmful to the body and should only be taken in the least possible quantity.
With inputs from Nutritionist Anurupa Bose, from Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru
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