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Confused … How is there Good and Bad Fat?

We are constantly being told that “Fats are bad, and many of us tend to completely rid our diet of all types of fat. The truth is, that we need fats and are necessary for us to lose and sustain weight. So with that in mind, it doesn’t mean we can go and eat a donut for breakfast – It all depends on the source of food the fat is from.

The fats to avoid are trans fats and saturated fats. These fats are often found to be culprits in packaged foods such as chips, margarine, biscuits and cakes. These fats will raise bad cholesterol, known as LDL and in turn lower your HDL, which is the good cholesterol. The reason these fats are so unhealthy is because most of them have undergone hydrogenation, which is a chemical process that food manufacturers use to keep the fat in packaged food from going off and moldy. Trans fats are hard to catch on food labels because there is a law that allows the food manufacturers to label them as “0g of Trans Fat” if the product contains less than 0.5g. Best thing to do? Fresh, fresh, fresh and FRESH produce all the way!

Unsaturated fats such as omega-3, omega-6, oleic acid, and linoleic acids are the good fats, and incorporating these into your diet can actually help you lose weight! The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K all require fat so that they can be absorbed into the body. Without fat, you’ll prevent the body in receiving any of these essential vitamins. Foods high in unsaturated fats such as avocado, can actually keep you feeling full longer because they can take a longer time to digest.

Low-fat diets can be very deceptive and sending us the wrong impression. The label; “low-fat” urges us to stray away from all fats completely, including the good fats that are needed to prevent illness such as heart disease. What’s worse is that when food producers take the fat out of a food they have to replace it with something else, usually being a refined carbohydrate from sugar. These refined carbs can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels because they are digested very fast. Hunger is a result of these high levels dropping down again, and then leads to overeating and weight gain.

So next time you consider buying something low-fat thinking you’re ‘being good’ – think again! Aim for the unsaturated fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds and fish. Fat is needed for optimum health!

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