Most people tend to look at fats as something to steer clear of, however most people don’t realise that some fats are essential to living a healthy lifestyle!
What most people see as ‘bad fats’ tends to be Trans Fats. Trans fats are found in many processed and fried foods. These can increase total LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower HDL, (good cholesterol).
Saturated fat can also increases total cholesterol and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein). Some meats, seafood, and dairy products are sources of saturated fat. Some plant foods, like palm and coconut oil, also contain it. The Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 10% of total calories come from saturated fat.
However there are also fats which benefit your health such as Unsaturated fats! Unsaturated fats are mostly good guys. Healthy unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, while trans and saturated fats are solid.
To increase your unsaturated fat, replace solids, like butter, with olive and vegetable oils, and swap red meat for seafood or unsalted nuts. (Seafood and nuts also contain saturated fat, but usually less than red meat.)
The two main types of unsaturated fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; their chemical structure is slightly different, as are their health benefits
You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds and fatty fish. This category encompasses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids because our bodies don’t make them we have to acquire them from food. Polyunsaturated fats can help lower your total cholesterol level
Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL. Olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources of this type of fat!