Good Fats. Bad Fats.

Which Fats To Eat

There are four types of fats. Two are good. Two are bad.

These are:

1. Saturated fats
2. Monounsaturated fats
3. Polyunsaturated fats
4. Trans fats

Which fats can you consume to aid health and which fats to avoid. The two fats you can readily eat without fear of punishment are saturated fats and monounsaturated fats.

Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature. Pork fat, bacon fat, beef fat, duck fat are examples of saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled.  Olive oil is an example of a type of oil that contains monounsaturated fats.

There has been much mis-information about fats. Saturated fats have been cast as the bad guy and if you eat saturated fats, they will kill ya. This is untrue. If saturated fats were so bad for you, why would your body store energy in the form of saturated fat. The body knows what's best for it. Would it store energy in the form of saturated fat if they were so damaging. I don't think so.

Too much body fat can create health issues. Body fat is the body's method to ensure there's enough energy for the body, if no food is available. Body fat ensures the body can survive times of famine.

The Inuit living in the northern parts of Canada, eating a traditional diet, eat a high saturated fat diet. They eat seal and whale blubber along with any fish they catch. Their diet is a high saturated fat diet, yet there is almost no incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes or alzheimers disease. How can that be. The Inuit live almost exclusively on fat. Saturated fat. Saturated fats are not bad for you. The Inuit are living proof.

The bad fats are polyunsaturated and trans fats. Polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Polyunsaturates and trans fats are used in most factory prepared foods, such as breads, cakes, pastries, pizza, pies, biscuits, cookies, chocolate, fries, doughnuts, crackers, muffins, pies are foods high in trans fat. Avoid.

Trans fats are vegetable oils exposed to hydrogen gas which solidifies the oil and converts it to a solid, during a process called hydrogenation. This is common in margarine and shortening.

The American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee strongly advises to limit intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories. Unfortunately trans fats are hidden in many foods.

Avoid commercially fried and baked foods. They contain shortening or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Those foods very high in trans fats. Commercial shortening and deep-frying fats will continue to be made by hydrogenation, as its a cost effective fat production method.

The body needs essential fats to function. Fat consumption is required for health. Forget the fat-free propaganda, there is little proof to back it up.

Lead Nutritionist at had this to say on saturated fats:

Saturated fats are underestimated as people only emphasise the bad effects that saturated fats can have. If you include saturated fats in your diet, there are good effects. Saturated fats provide essential fatty acids which are absent in other fats. The essential fatty acids play an important role in brain functioning. It also affects bone density, especially in women.

Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in building immunity. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus.  30 % of your fat intake should come from saturated fats.

Pass me the butter.