Good vs Bad Fats
Good vs Bad Fats
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How can you tell what are good vs bad fats? Let's start with what fats do. Body fat and dietary fat serve many functions. Fats help with the absorption of some vitamins (A, D, E, and K), are an energy source, and serve as storage. They are integrated in the building blocks of cells, form a large portion of the cellular membrane and even serve to ‘signal’ cell functions. Dietary fat is also a flavor enhancer.
There are four types of fats. Saturated (not bad in moderation), trans (most are bad), monounsaturated (healthy), and polyunsaturated (healthy). Omega's fall in the mono and polyunsaturated fat category.
Not all of our fat requirement comes from the diet; we also process fat from fatty tissues and the liver. Eating a lot of carbohydrates (breads and sugars) leads to the formation of triglycerides and then the excess is stored.
The term “essential fatty acids” means fats that can only be obtained from the diet. These are the omega-6 and omega-3. We get plenty of omega-6 from the diet but not omega-3. A balanced intake of fats, particularly omega-6 and omega-3 is important to promote health and prevent disease. Unfortunately, we, as humans, do not efficiently convert the common plant-derived omega-3 to EPA and DHA (the most beneficial derivatives). In addition to not being able to convert plant sources, you can unfortunately get omega-3 supplements without enough EPA & DHA. Consuming fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of EPA and DHA, but with the concern of environmental contaminants.
Not enough of the essential fatty acids may lead to health challenges such as reproductive failure, poor vision, learning disabilities, frail blood vessels, skin lesions, and others.
Too much saturated and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol and lead to clogging of the arteries. It is highly recommend that trans fats be completely eliminated.
Increasing Omegas (with beneficial EPA and DHA) protects against heart disease.
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High fat diets lead to fat stored where no fat should be such as the liver, heart, muscle, and pancreas. Fat in the heart can enlarge the heart because it’s harder for it to pump the blood. Fat in the liver leads to inflammation and cirrhosis. Fat in tissues causes cellular death. Fat also interferes with the function of insulin.
Insulin helps glucose into the tissues. Impaired function due to fat leads to high sugars and fats. This is one of the factors that leads to Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. Complications arising from diabetes include blindness, heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney damage.
Eating organic meat and dairy products will help to avoid toxins from the environment that was ingested by the livestock and stored in fat and then ingested by you! Here’s a great article for you to reference regarding organic fat sources:
Organic Fat Facts
Good vs bad fats in what foods? Click this link:
Good vs Bad Fats food guide
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