By: Sarah Hussey
In today’s world, fat is often viewed negatively and is seen as a barrier to weight loss; however, fat is actually very important to the body. According to the Mayo Clinic Website, fats help the body absorb several vitamins, as well as provide energy for the body. Not all fats are created equal though. We must be aware of which fats are best to fuel our body. The list below is several types of fats that will help you choose which to avoid and which to consume.
Saturated Fat: According to hsph.Harvard.edu, this type of fat is shown to increase your cholesterol levels and has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Cheese, pizza, grain desserts, and dairy desserts are the most common sources in the American diet.
Trans Fat: According to Heart.org, trans fats increase LDL cholesterol, which is often referred to as bad cholesterol. This ultimately puts you at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. They can also lower your good cholesterol, referred to as HDL cholesterol. Trans fats are found in many processed foods such as doughnuts, cookies, crackers, etc.
Monounsaturated Fat: According to the Mayo Clinic Website, this type of fat helps lower your cholesterol levels, which is good for lowering the risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats have also been shown to help with insulin levels and blood sugar. Common sources of these fats include olive oil, peanut butter, avocados and canola oil.
Polyunsaturated Fat: According to the Mayo Clinic Website, this fat also helps cholesterol levels and assists in the prevention of diabetes and heart disease. Common sources of this fat include salmon, nuts, seeds, tofu and soybeans.
Basically, saturated fats and trans fats can worsen a person’s risk for heart disease when over consumed. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce your risk for heart disease and can be very beneficial to the body. Don’t fear the fat!