What are the difference between good fats and bad fats?
Usually when we talk with friends about changing our eating habits and dieting, the comment that we have to reduce and even eliminate the consumption of fats in our meals to improve our health and lose weight is never absent. Reducing fat in meals is good advice, but I must inform you that it is not good to eliminate them completely because fats are necessary to live. We can not replace or eliminate them from our daily diet. Fat is a nutrient that has been stigmatized as something to be avoided, but even if you do not believe it, fat has essential nutrients that your body needs to be healthy. Much of the fat we consume helps form new cells, hormones and can be used as a source of fuel, so instead of removing all the fat from your diet, it is better to select certain types of healthy fats . Good and bad fats differ not only in their origin but also in the effects they produce on our health.
Differences between good and bad fats
BAD FAT: Increase LDL cholesterol levels (considered bad) and reduce HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which causes heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and worsen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the appearance of cancer and infertility.
- Saturated fats: bad fats are the fats that come from products of animal origin and are called saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat and dairy products.
- Trans fats: this second type of fat should be avoided at all costs since they are, without doubt, super harmful to health. Trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, margarines, many cookies, almost all industrial pastry, French fries , fast foods and in most processed foods.
Some foods such as coconut oil and eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, but they decrease inflammation, triglycerides and insulin levels.
- Stabilizes the composition of your body, promotes muscle mass formation
- Represents a source of energy, optimizes the use of glucose in the body
- It is part of the structure of all the cells of the organism and they reinforce the immunological system.
- It promotes brain functioning and improves mood
- They are essential to generate Vitamin D, sex hormones (male and female)
- They generate prostaglandins that are anti-inflammatory molecules, necessary for the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer
- The consumption of omega3 increases the oxidation of fats and inhibits lipogenesis (accumulation of fats), improves the functioning of the thyroid, hormone that regulates metabolism.
Good fats (unsaturated and polyunsaturated): are healthy fats used by the body and provide health benefits. They come from avocado, eggs, salmon, nuts, olives, coconut oil, peanut / almond butter, salmon, chia seeds, nuts, sardines, fish oil / flax seed.
Recently a new study, published in the journal “Molecular Psychiatry” 2016, suggests that stress eradicates the positive effects of choosing good fats. This shows how damaging it is to be in chronic and permanent stress. The stressful events of the day seem to eradicate any health benefits that a person could have obtained by choosing a breakfast rich in “good” fats, instead of a breakfast full of “bad” saturated fats, eating a breakfast with “bad fat” was the same as eating one with “good fat”, if it was accompanied by stress.
The study evaluated the interaction between stress, diet and inflammatory markers that could be measured in the blood and concludes that people who follow a heart-healthy diet should also manage their stress. That could mean sharing the problems with a friend or family member, exercising regularly, sleeping 6 to 7 hours, trying meditation or yoga, or just doing something enjoyable like dancing, laughing, especially loving and serving, in short look for relaxation mechanisms.
The key is to continue consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, fresh fruit, whole grains and healthy fats and to control the stress of our body and mind to be Happy and be Healthy.