Fats and Health


Fats are always blamed for gaining weight. They are the bad guys in the story of weight loss and they can never do anything right. Actually they are very good for you, but you need to know about the good fats. In this article I will take you over the good and bad fats. The relation between vitamins and fats are covered. Finally products with healthy fats are listed at the bottom of this page.

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What do Fats do?

We use fats as one of the main energy sources, right after carbohydrates. 1 gram of fat contains 9 kilocalories (kcal), whereas carbohydrates and protein only deliver 4 kcal per gram. That is one of the main reasons why you should not take too much fat. The extra calories they provide lead to overweight, not the fats themselves!

So mainly because of the reason that they contain more calories they are not very popular. The great thing about fat is that it helps form the male hormone testosterone. This hormone is involved in building muscle mass. It is also needed to solve certain vitamins. Without fat you would get vitamin deficiencies. Fats also play a role in maintaining body cells.

Another positive point of fats is that is helps increase your satiety level. This means that, after a meal, you will not be hungry so soon. That way you will not start to over eat with gaining weight as a result. So fat also plays a role in weight control.

Good and Bad Fats

Yes, there is a difference between good and bad fats. The good ones are the so-called unsaturated fats. These are healthy fats that will actually improve your overall health. You get them from healthy foods which I have listed at the end of this page.

Getting plenty of these ensures you will be able to take up the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). They can help lower your risk of getting heart diseases and they tend to lower your blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol can increase the chance of getting heart problems.

On the other side you have the bad fats. These fats are the saturated fats. Try to minimize the intake of this nutrient and rather eat the foods I have listed. A special type of saturated fats you definitely need to avoid is the trans-fat. Trans-fats were originally unsaturated fats, but are made into saturated fats by manufactures.

Both saturated fats and trans-fats increases your risk of getting cardiovascular problems. Another nutrient that can be put in the ‘fat group’ is cholesterol. The cholesterol in foods has not a very big influence on the levels of it in the body. Saturated fats and trans-fats are have a much bigger negative impact on the cholesterol levels in our body.

What foods should you eat?

Instead of telling you what foods you should not eat, I prefer to show you the foods that are good for you. It is up to you to choose the right foods. I recommend you to focus more on these healthy fatty foods, instead of the bad ones. The foods are listed in no particular order!

Healthy fat foods:
  • Natural oils: Olive oil, granola oil, flax seed oil
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Seeds such as sunflower seeds and flax seeds
  • Avocado
  • Peanut butter (without added sugar or transfats
  • Fat fish
  • Butter and margarine without transfats and low in saturated fats
  • Eggs contain some good fats too. The cholesterol and saturated fats in eggs should never be a reason for you to avoid them. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods out there!

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