Good fat. Bad fat. Unsaturated. Saturated. Trans. It reads like a Dr. Seuss book. It is ridiculous and confusing, but it does not have to be.
That’s right. There are good fats. Good fats lower your risk of heart disease. It is also a vital nutrient that helps provide energy for our body, is an important building block in making hormones, helps regulate the body’s cells, and even controls inflammation.
The good fats are called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Why are they good? They lower the risk of heart disease. Good fats are liquid at room temperature.
Monounsaturated fats are found in oils such as canola and olive, and Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils.
The bad fats are saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats raise your LDL cholesterol. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol. It is pretty easy to detect a saturated fat, because they are solid at room temperature.
An even worse culprit is trans fats, or trans fatty acids. They not only raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol, but at the same time lower your good cholesterol (HDL). This double whammy greatly increases your risk of heart disease, which is the leading killer of women.
Trans fats are found in baked goods, such as cakes, crackers and cookies. And those fried foods you love – chicken, doughnuts and fries? Yep. Trans fat. Be careful using the shortening and those sticks of margarine.
Fats are an essential part of our diet. Not all fats are evil. Choose wisely and exercise your common sense. If you must have that fried chicken then fry it up in some peanut oil. It is a bit more expensive, but the taste is fabulous and the healthier results are worth it.