Difference Between Good Fats and Bad Fats

by July 31, 2013

The increased concern over health and longevity has raised the awareness over the consumption of fatty acids. There has been scientific evidence confirming the existence of both good fats and bad fats which has brought forth the question as to what the difference between good fats and bad fats are and most importantly, how can one identify this difference. Difference in fats

It is known that fats are derived from both animal extract and plant extract however the confusion of cholesterol often plays a big part in the true understanding of the equation. With all of the data and scientific terms, many individuals find themselves on the verge of giving up the journey of understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats. However, it is crucial to note that an achievement of the basic understanding is not impossible.

Learning The Differences Between Good & Bad Fats

The first point to address is that all forms of fats (both animal and plant) are common in so far that the number of calories that are produced inside your body is the same: 9 calories per gram of fat consumed. When referring to calories, these are the numbers you will need to be aware of: fats have a total of 9 calories per gram consumed, proteins have a total of 4 calories per gram consumed and carbohydrates have a total of 4 calories per gram consumed.

From these numbers it is important to note that fats contain at least twice as much of calories per gram in comparison to proteins and carbohydrates. It is easy to see that by reducing the amount of fat that you eat on a per gram basis will lower your number of calories.  This would be far more beneficial than reducing the consumption of foods such as proteins and carbohydrates.  You will be able to eat a healthy diet to lose or maintain weight if you choose the type of calories you consume wisely.

Identifying The Different Fats

As identified above there are two types of fats: good fats and bad fats. Each type of fat has two subcategories. Bad fats consist of saturated fats and trans fats. These are often solid if they are left at room temperature like lard and butter. Good fats consist of mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats which are liquid at room temperature like vegetable and olive oils. An easy way to identify a good fat from a bad fat is the form it takes at room temperature.  If it’s in a solid form, it most likely is a bad fat. (The type of fat is also listed on food labels and it is wise to check those as you are purchasing your foods but as a easy rule, think about the form it is at room temperature.)

Cholesterol can be confusing when discussing fats for some people. Very simply, there are also two types of cholesterol: good and bad. Cholesterol is only derived from animal extracts such as dairy products, eggs and meat. In addition to consumption of cholesterol, it is also naturally produced in your body. Your body requires some cholesterol for functioning.

Bad cholesterol, known as LDL, is often related to as the cause of arterial and heart diseases including heart attacks, strokes, thinning of the arteries, and atherosclerosis. Good cholesterol, which is referred to as HDL, is responsible for removing excess cholesterol from your arteries and bringing it to the liver to aid digestion.

Bad fats play a part in the increase of bad cholesterol. Trans fats additionally decrease the good cholesterol in your body. Good fats, on the other hand, do not raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your body.  They have proven to be beneficial when consumed in moderation.

The majority of saturated fats are often found in animal extracts such as high fat dairy products, meats, and egg yolks which also contain cholesterol of their own. Palm and coconut oils are the exception to the rule mentioned above.  Although they come in liquid form at room temperature, these oils possess bad fats, namely, saturated fats. Trans fats on the other hand are almost always man made and are often masked behind names such as hydrogenated vegetable oil or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (giving the false impression of being good). It is therefore crucial to examine food labels in order to avoid the consumption of bad fats.

As you learn to identify good and bad fats, you can reduce the bad fats which will improve your health and lower your calorie intake.

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