Fats: how food affects health

Fat is not a four-letter word! Learn to choose the right fats to increase flavor and improve health.

Fat, like protein and carbohydrates, is also an important part of a good nutrition plan. They contain more than twice the number of calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein, so a small amount of fat will contribute a lot of calories.
Some healthy oils, such as olive oil and canola oil, are excellent sources of monounsaturated fats and have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. These oils are also rich in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that can help keep your skin beautiful and protect your eyesight.

Canola oil as well as walnut oil and linseed oil provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce arthritis pain, reduce triglycerides and increase cholesterol levels. Omega-3 can also help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, help protect the skin from sun damage, and slow down memory loss.

Saturated fats are found in several vegetable oils (palm oil and palm kernel oil are listed in packaged foods), but saturated fats are found in many spreads and condiments, including butter, lard, and cream cheese , Shortening and cream-or cheese salad dressing, and the skin on poultry and certain pieces of meat. Although it was thought in the past that saturated fat can cause heart disease and inflammation that may worsen other diseases, recent information has made this problem less obvious. Therefore, although there is no conclusion as to whether saturated fat is really as bad as previously predicted, it is important not to be “butter crazy” and to exercise restraint before doing more research.

Trans fat is the worst fat. Although meat and dairy products contain traces of natural trans fats, the vast majority of trans fats in the American diet are man-made. These artificial trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils and used in certain baked goods and frying oils to extend their shelf life. Trans fats increase your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol, so they increase the risk of heart disease compared to saturated fats. They also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and increase inflammation, which can exacerbate arthritis pain. Margarine sticks usually contain trans fats, so they should be avoided. However, many brands of cork barrel margarine are now anti-fat free. In order to determine a healthy spread, please make sure that 0 g of trans fat is specified on the label and that no hydrogenated oil is listed in the ingredients panel.

Other spreads include the spread between sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols are small amounts of natural substances found in the cell membranes of certain plants. Sterols and stanols have structures similar to cholesterol. These compounds compete with cholesterol to enter the receptors of the digestive tract, effectively preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the diet, and ultimately leading to lower blood cholesterol levels. Since you cannot get a therapeutic dose from food alone, manufacturers have added concentrated amounts of sterols and stanols to certain spreads that are beneficial to human health, just like margarine, which can be tasted and cooked. These spreads should only be used by people with cholesterol problems, and their consumption should not exceed the recommended amount: two to three tablespoons a day. I recommend trying the light-colored versions of these sauces to save calories.

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