What are Monounsaturated Fats ?
Monounsaturated fats are "good" fats, compared to other types of fats such as saturated fats and trans fats. You can easily pack on the pounds by eating fatty foods, regardless of whether they good or bad, as fats are dense in calories. Compared to protein or carbohydrate, which only have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9 calories! So, it is not surprising that just hearing the word "fat" makes you immediately recoil. However, there are fats that your body requires to function properly and there are fats that will clog your arteries and can lead to heart disease and heart attacks. Learning to understand the difference between these good and bad fats can have
a profound effect on your health.
The Good Fats
These are primarily unsaturated fats, including both monounsatured fats and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are better for you and are liquid at room temperature. The monounsaturated fats family helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Apart from nuts and
vegetables, olive oil and avocados are a good source of these types of fats. Among the polyunsaturated fats, the best option are Omega 3 fats. These fats have anti-inflammatory properties and are found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, canola oil, and dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Fish oil supplements are also a good source of Omega 3s. These fatty acids work to lower triglyceride levels, and aid in the prevention of heart disease and heart attacks. Switching to these healthy forms of fats in your diet and when cooking will promote well being and good health.
Bad Fats Lead to High Triglycerides
Triglycerides are fat globules found in your body, and the level can be determined by a routine blood test by your doctor. Triglycerides are formed in the body from excess glucose. So when you over eat, or have a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and sugary foods, you are more likely to have high levels of triglycerides. The consumption of saturated fats, such as animal fats, and those fats that are solid at room temperature (such as butter for example) also elevate triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The worst type of bad fats are trans-fats. These are artificially created during the manufacturing process of some types of foods, such as margarine, and can raise your risk of heart disease by lowering good HDL cholesterol, and increasing bad LDL cholesterol.
Choosing the Right Foods
Foods to avoid are those that are high in saturated fats are oils made from animal fat, as well as tropical vegetable oils, such as coconut products. So not all vegetable oils are good for you. Make sure to look at the nutrition facts label and see which types of fat the food contains, and at what levels, to assist you in choosing the right foods and oils to cook with to lead to a healthier life.
By: Fazila Adam
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