Understanding Unhealthy Fats & Health
The health benefits of avoiding unhealthy fats are well-known. Unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans-fats, increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Eating too many unhealthy fats can also lead to inflammation, which can be damaging to your long-term health. So, what are the types of unhealthy fats, and how can you avoid them in order to promote and maintain good health?
Types of Unhealthy Fats
- Saturated Fats – These fats are found in red meat, dairy products, certain oils and processed foods. They can raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol, which increases your risk of heart disease.
- Trans Fats – These fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil in order to solidify it. They can be found in margarine, fried and processed foods. Trans fats can raise your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
Avoiding Unhealthy Fats
There are several steps you can take to limit your intake of unhealthy fats:
1. Choose Lean Protein Sources
Don’t consume too much red meat and opt for leaner options such as white meat and fish. Eggs, nuts, beans and legumes are also great sources of protein that are low in unhealthy fats.
2. Read Food Labels
When shopping for food, take the time to read the labels. Many products contain unhealthy fats, so look out for ingredients such as palm oil, margarine, butter, and hydrogenated oils. Look out for terms such as ‘high in saturated fat’ and ‘hydrogenated.’
3. Limit Fried and Processed Foods
Fried and processed foods often contain unhealthy fats. Avoid fried chicken, chips, and processed foods like burgers. Instead, opt for healthier options such as grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, and whole wheat bread.
4. Increase Intake of Healthy Fats
Don’t just reduce unhealthy fats from your diet, increase your intake of healthy fats! Healthy fats can be found in nuts, olives, avocadoes, and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
By avoiding unhealthy fats, you can help to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Reading food labels, avoiding fried and processed foods and increasing intake of healthy fats can all help to ensure you get the nutrition you need and maintain good health.