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Healthy Fats Vs Unhealthy Fats: Here's What You Need To Know

Fats: Just like other nutrients fats should be an essential part of your diet too. Not all fats are unhealthy. While, there are a few which are beneficial for your health in various ways. Read here to know more about choosing healthy and unhealthy fats.

Healthy Fats Vs Unhealthy Fats: Heres What You Need To Know

Fats are required for brain function, energy and better heart health

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Fats are an essential macronutrient for good health
  2. Nuts and seeds can provide you with healthy fats
  3. Ghee is a source of good fat that must be a part of your diet

If you're dreading over the fats you have consumed during your lunch, there is a good news for you. Those fats can be useful for your body as it gives energy, helps to absorb vitamins and protect your heart and brain health. All these must be little hard to believe for you because for years you've been told that eating fat will add inches to our waistline, raise cholesterol, and cause a myriad of health problems. But now, you should know that not all fats are same.

Healthy fats can help you feel full for longer and help you prevent overeating or excessive snacking, especially on carbs. Fats are of two kinds - saturated fats and unsaturated fats. The latter is one is the best for you and is often considered as the 'golden child' of the dietary fats. Unsaturated fats can be further broken into polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs).


Healthy Vs Unhealthy Fat: Know the difference

What are Healthy fats?

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the 'healthy fats'. They are considered healthy because these can help decrease bad cholesterol (LDL), increase good cholesterol (HDL). And, also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adding more of these healthy fats to your diet may also help to make you feel more satisfied after a meal, reducing hunger. This further leads to weight loss. Fatty fish, ground flax seed, liquid plant-based cooking oils (avocado, canola, olive, peanut) and nuts and seeds are some rich source of PUFAs. Whereas, MUFAS can be found in nuts, avocados, olives, liquid plant-based cooking oils (grape seed, sesame, sunflower, vegetable) and certain seeds and animal fats.

Also read: List Of Good Fats You Should Consume Daily

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Avocados are loaded with healthy fats
Photo Credit: iStock

Unhealthy fats

Now that you know what good fats are, it is important to eliminate unhealthy fats from your diet. Artificial trans fats also known as manufactured fats are the unhealthy ones. They are created when hydrogen molecules are pumped into vegetable oils. Trans fats can be found in everything from frozen pizzas to donuts, cookies, crackers, and cakes. Therefore, food manufacturers are required to list trans fats in grams (g) on labels. However, keep in mind that the FDA Trusted Source currently allows foods with 0.5 g of trans fats to be listed as 0 or trans-fat free. This is one of the worst types of fat since it not only raises bad LDL cholesterol but also lowers good HDL levels. Artificial trans fats can also create inflammation, which is linked with heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. It can also contribute to insulin resistance, which increases your risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.

Also read: Why Are Fats Important For You? Know The Different Between Good Fats And Unhealthy Fats

Even saturated fats are considered as unhealthy. While not as harmful as trans fat, saturated fat can raise bad LDL cholesterol and too much can negatively impact heart health, so it's best to consume in moderation. While there is no need to cut out all saturated fat from your diet, most nutrition experts recommend limiting it to 10% of your daily calories.

  • Saturated fat - primary sources include:
  • Red meat 
  • Chicken skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)
  • Butter
  • Ice cream
  • Lard
  • Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil

Also read: Are You On A Keto Diet? You Must Include These Proteins And Fats In Your Diet For Quick Weight Loss


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(Neha Pathania, Chief- Dietitian- Paras Hospital Gurugram)

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