Monday, October 31, 2011

Are all Fats Equal?

A 1918 advertisement for shortening.Image via Wikipedia
The savvy consumer today knows the importance of reading the food labels to eliminate as many chemicals, and unhealthy substances in the food that they eat. For optimal health it is important to examine nutritional facts related to fat, sodium and sugar content.

This post will examine the types of fats and how they affect your health.

Fats: the good and the bad

 Most of us know as informed consumers,, that too much fat is artery and blood vessel clogging.  Therefore, although being an essential part of the diet, it must not be consumed in excess.  (Nutritionists recommended that fats don't exceed one third of the diet).

But, what are the good fats that can help us to keep cholesterol under control?

The Good
Well, unsaturated fats promote health by cutting cholesterol and lowering heart attack risks along with blood vessel disease.  The two main types of such fats are monounsaturated fats, which include canola and olive oils and polyunsaturated fats, like corn and sunflower oils. Experts point out that all fats that are liquid at room temperature  are healthier.              

The bad

On the other hand, saturated fats such as butter and lard  raise the bad blood cholesterol, LDL.

The other bad oils are the trans fat, basically man made fats.  There were once touted as being better for you.  These fats are found in vegetable shortening and stick margarine.  You can identify these fats by noting the words "hydrogenated oil" or "partially hydrogenated oil."


"Big Fat Myths" AARP Magazine
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