March 5, 2014

Guest Post, David Novak, Healthline - Healthy Fats

Hi everybody!  Today I'm bringing a great bit of information about adding healthy fats into your diet from Healthline.  For so long, I have been trying to cut fat out of my day, when really we need it in our diets!  Fat, the good kinds, are really great for us.  So read on for more information!

Most people assume that all kinds of fat are equally bad; however, this depends on what type of fat and the amount of fat being consumed. Fats are categorized into four major types: saturated fats, trans fat, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. All of these fats play a major role in either boosting or aggravating our overall health.

Trans fats and saturated fats are best known as the “bad” fats because they can increase the risk of diseases, including cancer. They also elevate the body’s cholesterol level, which can cause cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and stroke. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fat, on the other hand, are known as “good” fats, because they actually work at lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Here are several tips on how to maximize the benefit of these healthy fats:

Monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fat is a type of healthy fat, which is physically liquid at room temperature, but can turn solid if chilled. Taken in moderation, this fat is found to help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. It can also maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels, which is particularly important for those with type 2 diabetes. While most foods contain a combination of different types of fat, there are some that are dominated by monounsaturated fat along.  These foods include olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, avocados, macadamia nuts and peanut butter.

Polyunsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats are liquid in any temperature. Two main varieties exist: omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats, also known as essential fatty acids.  These fats can’t be produced by the body naturally, and even though they are known as a healthy type of fat, moderate consumption of polyunsaturated fats is still recommended.  Why? Because research suggests that excessive consumption can contribute to certain types of cancer. Good sources of polyunsaturated fats include mackerel, herring, salmon, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Tips for Choosing Healthy Fats

  Eliminate trans fat from your diet - Trans fats are liquid oils mixed with hydrogen, creating a solid form of the fat.  This is done so these fats’ shelf life can be prolonged. Trans fats are commonly found in commercially prepared food products such as frozen dinners, cookies, crackers, pre-mixed cake mixes and fried foods. Trans fat is considered an unhealthy fat because it increases bad cholesterol (LDL), while lowering the good cholesterol (HDL).  Doctors recommend avoiding foods high in trans fat as much as possible.
  Limit saturated fat intake - Saturated fat derives mostly from animal products such as poultry, full-fat dairy and meat. This type of fat is known to increase the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes, so it’s advised to limit these fats in your diet. Sources of saturated fat include vegetable oils, such as palm oil and coconut oil.
Consume at least one source of omega-3 fats daily - Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and inflammatory conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a vital role when it comes to emotional health and cognitive function. Excellent sources include albacore tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines.
  Use liquid plant oils - Plant-based oils are the safest form of oil, especially when cooking with them. These oils are comprised mostly of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, and they are extremely healthy for you, promoting good heart, joint and cognitive health. Examples include canola oil, walnut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil and sesame oil.
  Replace bad fats with good fats - Substitution is the best way to maximize the benefit of good fats, while lowering your bad fat consumption. You can use olive oil instead of butter, white meat instead of red meat, or frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.

Recommended cholesterol and fat intake

Type of fat
Food sources
Saturated fat
Consume no more than 10% of total calories.
Coconut oil, lard, palm oil, butter, bacon, hot dogs and sausage
Monounsaturated fat
No specific recommendation, but staying within the total fat allowance is necessary.
Peanut butter, nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut oil and canola oil
Polyunsaturated fat
No specific recommendation, but staying within the total fat allowance is necessary.
Salmon, herring, mackerel, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil,  and soybean oil
Trans fat
No specific recommendation, though the lower the amount the better. Avoid trans fat from synthetic sources.
Commercially-prepared food products such as cookies, cakes, desserts and snack foods
No more than 300 milligrams a day
Seafood, chicken, pork and beef dishes, burgers, eggs and dairy desserts

David Novak’s byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To visit his other stories on Healthline, visit 

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting content. I like it. Thank you