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Is Dietary Fat Healthy?

A breakfast very high in saturated fat

Though you read everywhere that you need to cut out as much fat as possible, this is only partially true.

There are good fats and bad fats. Fat is mainly present in a food in the form of triglycerides. Triglycerides consist of glycerol and three fatty acids. These fatty acids can be saturated, such as in butter, or unsaturated, such as in some margarines. There are also monounsaturated fatty acids, these are found in olive oil and peanut oil.

Saturated fats are considered the “bad fats”, unsaturated fats are considered the good fats.

Saturated fats cause make up a waxy plaque that may trouble the arteries. Saturated fats may increase cholesterol levels. Most saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, with the exception of tropical oils. It is found mostly in meat and dairy products, as well as some vegetable oils, such as coconut and palm oils (tropical oils).

Polyunsaturated Fat tends to lower blood cholesterol levels. It is found mostly in plant sources.

Monounsaturated Fat tends to lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). It is found in both plant and animal products.

angry, angry trans fats

Though margarine sounds good, the way it is made is not. Because of the fact that the food industry needed to make the margarine easier to spread, they hydrogenated the fats. During this process they create Trans-fats, which are as bad as saturated fats. Trans-fats occur in many processed foods. Always check the label to see if any ingredients are listed as hydrogenated. If they are, try to find something else to eat, the main reason for this is that trans-fats are NOT listed in the little energy charts which they print on there, so you never know how much of these trans-fats you’ll be taking in.

Unfortunately there’s no way around saturated fats. You could stop eating, but chances of survival are probably worse in that case then when you’re just eating butter.

Try to keep a proper balance, 20-30% of your daily energy intake should come from fats, of this, NO MORE than 10% should be saturated fats. Remember that fats contain 9 calories, whereas carbohydrates and protein only contain 4 calories.

Read those labels!

This article by Paul Becker was published with his permission. Paul, a bodybuilder and fitness expert, is the owner and operator of TrulyHuge.com. Click the link to his website for more diet tips.

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