Fatty Foods Can be Your Friend or Enemy

Fatty Foods Can be Your Friend or Enemy
Fats like this can be fatal

Here’s some good dietary news about fatty foods:

As the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study confirms, eating more of the good fats (MUFAs, PUFAs and Omega 3 fatty acids) and limiting or avoiding bad fats (SFAs and TFAs), all while keeping fat intake to no more than 30% of total daily calories consumed, can actually lower your risk of experiencing disease. It is a simple matter of making some easy adjustments to your dietary habit. The choice is yours.

So how do we make the right choices? How do we make the easy adjustment to better ourselves? First, we must have a clear understanding as to what foods contain good fats and what foods contain bad fats. What follows is a list of common foods and the fats they are predominantly comprised of:

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs)

Olives / Olive Oil / Canola Oil

Peanut Oil / Almonds / Avocados

Cashews / Peanuts and most other nuts

Effects – Lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and raises good (HDL) cholesterol

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs)

Cottonseed Oil / Soybean / Safflower Oil

Corn / Fish

Effects – Lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and raises good (HDL) cholesterol

Saturated Fats (SFAs)

Whole Milk / Butter / Poultry Skin

Cheese / Ice Cream / Red Meat

Chocolate / Coconuts / Coconut Milk & Oil

Effects – Raises both bad (LDL) cholesterol and good (HDL) cholesterol

Trans Fats (TFAs)

Most Margarine’s / Vegetable Shortening

Deep Fried Foods / Many Fast Foods

Most Commercial Baked Goods

Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils

Effects – Raises bad (LDL) cholesterol

Now I know what you’re thinking: “My gosh, so many of the foods I enjoy are loaded with bad fats! I’ll never be able to give them up!” Nobody is asking you to. But unless you want to stay on the fast track to heart disease, a stroke or cancer, you need to make some simple and easy adjustments to your daily diet.

Continuing to consume more bad fats than good fats, now that you know what you know, is akin to deciding to take up smoking despite knowing the dangers involved. Granted, fatty foods are no less addictive than nicotine, but eating mostly fatty foods as your primary diet is, quite bluntly, nonsensical and dangerous!

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This is the second post of a three-part series about the effects of fats on our health. Part III will appear Friday, April 20 and will discuss the benefits of eating the good fats in food.