Dietary Fats: Healthy Fat vs. Bad Fat- Thomas DeLauer

Bad fat, good fat

Why fat gets a bad press

A fatty diet is linked to heart disease and to colon and prostate cancers, all major killers of men. The average British man consumes close to 40% of his daily calories from fat: too much, according to the Health Education Authority, which recommends an intake of no more than 35% of daily calories from fat. But you already know that. What you may not know is that there are lots of different types of fat, and that some are worse for you than others. In fact, some are so good for you, they're called ‘essential'.

Saturated fats

Found in meat butter, cheese, eggs and coconut oil. There are several saturated fatty acids, including palmitic acid, myristic acid, lauric acid and stearic acid.

What they do
Raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the bad stuff), which can clog artery walls and increases your risk of heart disease and and stroke. The one blameless saturated fat is stearic acid (found in lean red meat), which won't raise your LDL levels - in fact, it may actually lower them.

How much should you be eating?
Very little - 5% of your total calories per day.

Trans fatty acids

Found in red meat and dairy products, as well as margarine, biscuits, cakes and many deep fried foods, especially chips.

What they do
A trans fat is created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to keep it ‘stable' for frying (unstable oil makes fried food taste bad) and to prevent it from going rancid. Processed food makers have been replacing saturated fats (such as lard or beef tallow) with hydrogenated vegetable oils to cut out cholesterol. These act like saturated fats in the blood, raising LDL cholesterol and lowering the ‘good' high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

How much should you be eating?
As little as possible. Trans fats aren't trumpeted on nutrition labels, so they're tricky devils to spot. Unfortunately, nutritional labelling isn't standardised so trans fats aren't always listed.

Mono-unsaturated fats

Found in olive oil and peanut oils

What they do
Considered ‘heart healthy', they either have no effect on cholesterol levels or, in the form oleic acid, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol without affecting HDL (good) cholesterol. But that's not a green light to sponge up a bowl of olive oil with a loaf of Italian bread.

How much should you be eating?
Only 15% of your daily calories should come from these fats.

Polyunsaturated fats

Found in corn, soya bean and sunflower oil.

What they do
Unlike some mono-unsaturated fast, polyunsaturated fast lower both LDL and HDL cholesterol. And resarch has shown that a type of polyunsaturated fat called conjugated linoleic acid, foundi n certain mean and dairy products, may have strong health benefits: including the ability to protect against atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries), to reduce the risk of diabetes, and to inhibit the growth of prostate-cancer cells.

How much should you be eating?
Limit polyunsaturated fats to 5% of your daily calories.

Essential fatty acids

Found cooking oils (omega-6 fatty acid) and in oily fish such as mackerel, some nuts, flaxseed (linseed) and green leafy vegetables (omega-3 fatty acids).

What they do
Omega-3 apepars to slow the body's production of prostaglandins, chemical compounds that can cause excessive blood clotting. This can then lead to heart disease. Omega-6 helps boost the immune system and improve the condition of your skin.

How much should you be eating?
Six per cent of your daily calories should come from omega-6 and 1% from omega-3, according to the British Nutrition Foundation Taskforce.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:36 / Views: 93582