National Cholesterol Month-Stop Worrying About Cholesterol And Eat Good Fats
With the National Cholesterol Month here it becomes important to bust myths and educate people about good fats. For decades fat has been demonized by most nutritionists and doctors. They have been asking people to keep the fat consumption low to manage cholesterol and stay healthy. But today we know that all fats are not bad. Our body needs healthy fats to function right!
First let us go about busting fat myths!
Myth 1: All fats are the same. They are equally bad for you!
The truth: There is one fat that is bad for you as it raises the levels of cholesterol and increases your chances of landing up with a heart disease. That is trans fat. On the other hand, there are fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are good for health. They lower the risk of heart disease. There is one fat called saturated fat which is hanging in between good and bad fat.
Myth 2: Reducing the amount of fat you consume matters the most
The truth: The ratio of fats that you eat matters more than the total amount of fat in your diet when it comes to good health and cholesterol levels. The key is to consume more of the good fats and less of the bad fats.
Myth 3: Fat-free food is healthy
The truth: If your food is labelled as fat-free, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy and you can eat your heart out! The reality is that these fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbs and calories. When fat is removed from food so is the taste and that is why they add such unhealthy stuff to fat-free food to compensate for the missing fat. So, fat-free isn’t healthy!
Myth 4: A low-fat diet will help you lose weight
The truth: Obesity has become an epidemic and this has happened more in the ‘low-fat diet’ era! Cutting down on calories will assist weight lost and not cutting down on fat. Fats are filling and will help you in feeling satiated quickly. This will reduce your chances of overeating. But you should go in for healthy fats.
Fats-the good and the bad!
After busting myths let us now talk about healthy and unhealthy fats.
Like mentioned in myth 1, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are called the ‘good fats’ as they are good for heart health and overall health.
Foods and oils that are rich in monounsaturated fats are as follows:
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Peanut butter
Foods and oils that are rich in polyunsaturated fats are as follows:
- Flax seed
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, trout)
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
The in-between fat- Saturated fat
Saturated fats are ones that are solid at room temperature and this fat is found in whole milk, dairy foods, coconut oil, cheese and the like. Now, if you have been following our blog for long you must have noticed that we always say that you should drink whole-fat milk, eat cheese and make food in coconut oil (of course in controlled portions!). Coconut oil is in fact the new extra virgin olive oil! Saturated fat is not a demon. Studies have not been able to prove that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. But people still say that you should limit the number of calories you consume for saturated fat. To know more read this post!
The bad fat- Trans fat
Trans-fat is the real demon that has to be shooed away from our diets. It is not real food but made by a process of hydrogenation of vegetable oils. On food labels you can find it as ‘partially hydrogenated oil’. Such fats are found in baked goods and fast foods like French fries. Consuming trans fats can raise bad cholesterol levels and lower the levels of good cholesterol. It is linked with heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other ailments. Even small amounts of trans fat can cause harm. It has become mandatory to mention that the food product contains trans fat and as a result this man-made fat is fading away!
So, choose the right fats and stay healthy!
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