Eating Healthier Fats Could Save Lives


Healthy Fats

When you hear that you should eat more fat and not less of it, you might be thinking, “What?!” However, this depends on the kind of fat you consume.

The American Heart Association says that people who eat healthier fats can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It also can decrease risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other problems. However, you might not have any idea what “healthy fat” is.

One type of healthy fat is the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in most vegetable oils except for the partially hydrogenated kind. The omega-8 and other fatty acids including omega-3 and omega-9 are also present in many foods. For example, you can find them in avocados, tofu, nuts, seeds, salmon, mackerel and soybeans. Not eating enough of these and too many saturated fats can cause problems for the body.

Recent research by School of Nutrition Science & Policy and other health associations have discovered that heart disease risk has increased. This is particularly in people who do not consume enough omega-6 in their diet. However, it also could be the result of a combination of diet indiscretions such as eating too many trans fats.

Foods cooked in animal fats such as shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil instead of pure vegetable oil are the ones that contain the most trans fat. These include fried potatoes cooked in shortening, red meats, potato chips, fried fish, croissants and similar foods.

Butter also has trans fat in it. However, it usually only is a gram or less. In addition, the United States Government has put regulations on making foods with this type of saturated fat. Therefore, many foods that used to contain this more harmful fat no longer have it.

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