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Diet and Nutrition Data Verified

Good Vs. Bad Fats

Written by
Zeba Jabeen
and medically reviewed by Durga Kumari

Published on Apr 28, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Fats are of two types, good and bad. This article comprises information on good and bad fats and compares the two.

Contents

What Are Fats?

Fats are essential dietary nutrients required for energy production, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, production and regulation of hormones, synthesis of nerve tissues, and controlling inflammation in the body. Fats provide numerous benefits to health. Yet lately, consumption of fats has been chiefly considered flawed due to the increasing cases of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc. However, not all fats are bad. Fats can be good or bad based on their characteristics and effects on the body. Instead of going for a fat-free or low-fat diet and gaining the maximum advantages of the fats, it is better to gather the proper knowledge about their types, sources, and effects, so here are the details.

What Are Good Fats?

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature; they are considered good fats. They are called so because they are suitable for cardiac functions, lipid profile, and general health. Their functions are as follows:

They are divided into two types:

Omega-3 Fats -

Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats that are advantageous for health, especially cardiac health. The two most popular forms of omega-3 fats are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The various benefits of omega-3 fats are as follows:

Apart from fatty fish and fish oil, other sources of omega-3 fats are algae, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, beans, kale, spinach, etc. In addition, it has been advised by the American Heart Association for heart disease patients to take approximately one gram of EPA and DHA daily. Therefore, for healthy individuals, the recommended intake is a minimum of two 100 g servings of fish every week.

What Are Bad Fats?

Trans fats are considered not just bad fats but rather the worst of all dietary fats available. They are obtained as a byproduct during the hydrogenation process. The hydrogenation process prevents the foul smelling of healthy fats by converting them into a solid-state. Trans fats are not beneficial to health at all. They increase the LDL levels in the blood and decrease the healthy cholesterol levels. They promote inflammation, which increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They cause insulin resistance which may further lead to type-2 diabetes and are harmful even in trace amounts. That is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has prohibited the use of artificial trans fats in food products. The WHO has also asked other nations worldwide to remove trans fats from all commercial products by 2023.

Trans fats are found in the following items:

What Are Saturated Fats?

Those fats that remain solid at room temperature are called saturated fats. They are called so because their carbon chain has many hydrogen atoms, so they are saturated with hydrogen. They are not entirely detrimental to health and can be consumed in an average quantity. However, when taken in abundance in the diet, they increase LDL levels and promote heart blockages, artery blockages, and blockages in other parts of the body. That is why nutritionists have recommended restricting the intake of saturated fats to a maximum of ten calories per day. The rich sources of saturated fats are listed below:

What Are the Tips to Consider for Fat Intake?

The eating of fats needs a lot of consideration regarding their types, quantities, and sources. About one gram of fat contains nine calories. These are just the double calories present in carbohydrates and proteins, so fats should be included in the diet carefully.

There are specific tips that can be taken for a healthy fat intake. They are as follows:

Conclusion:

Not reaching extremes is the most important thing to keep in mind for fat consumption. Making intelligent and mindful choices of food products is better than going completely fat-free. When choosing what to eat, the high-calorie content of fats should also be taken into account.

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Last reviewed at:
28 Apr 2022  -  4 min read

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