Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats: What You Need to Know

Fats are still considered the worst of the worst, and even though that is such an outdated belief, many people still cling to it, thinking that removing fats from their diet will help them during the weight loss process. Sure, there are fats that are unhealthy and should be avoided, but there are also healthy ones that contribute to one’s wellbeing. So if you’re looking to change your diet for the better, then it’s important to learn the difference between types of fat, so you’ll be able to pick your foods more wisely. So for that specific reason, here is a mini-guide on this topic.

What are healthy fats? 

There’s controversy regarding which fats are healthy. Saturated fats get the bad rep, even though they’re not all the same. This is due to the fact that different fats have different effects on your body. That’s why it’s important to treat foods as a whole, not on their individual nutrients. So we have unsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy, but the thing is, they can also vary in quality and other characteristics. 

Besides, aside from saturated fats, there are other types of fats that are much better for you. For example, monounsaturated fats are often found in avocados, and some types of oils, such as olive and canola oil. They can also be found in nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pecans. Also, there are polyunsaturated fats that are even better than monounsaturated fats, since they tend to lower the risk of heart diseases. These types of fats are most commonly found in seeds and vegetable oils. 

Then there are omega-3 fatty acids, a special type of polyunsaturated fat, that are mostly found in seafood, mainly fish like bluefin tuna and salmon. However, some may be worried about consuming fish on a regular basis, due to high levels of mercury, which is why it’s important to be careful and follow the recommended doses that are safe for consumption. 

How about unhealthy fats? 

Now we’ve come to the most important part: unhealthy fats. These fats are the ones everyone warns you about. The truth is, natural fats aren’t that dangerous for you, especially if consumed the right way. What you should be worried about are industrial fats, also known as trans fats. So why are they bad? During the manufacturing process, the otherwise healthy vegetable oils get hydrogenated with hydrogen gas. That causes them to become solid or nearly solid. Trans fats are usually found in industrial confectionery products, cakes, pies and fried foods. This is important to know, so you’ll be able to make more informed dietary choices in the future.

However, in order to make the best choices, you should also pay attention to other details. Sometimes, fats can be hidden. Therefore, be sure to ask yourself which of the following foods contains hidden fats? 

These types of foods can even be healthy. So prepackaged red meat, movie theatre popcorn, salad dressing, and poultry with their skin intact all contain hidden fats, that if consumed too often, can cause health issues. 

Conclusion

It’s crucial to remember that not all fats are the same. They all have different effects on your body. Still, there are studies that treat all saturated fats the same, whereas there are various types of them. Also, there are foods that contain different types of fats and nutrients, so avoiding them all is practically impossible. Some saturated fats are found in dairy products, vegetable oils and poultry, which actually makes them beneficial. 

Staying away from trans fats is definitely a good idea, especially if you’re aiming to live a healthy lifestyle, without too many processed foods. 

Finally, keep in mind that eating meat, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fish is a great way to eat more healthy fats and actively contribute to your own wellbeing.