Part of our program is educating you in all areas of fitness, including nutrition, so you can make the best possible decisions yourself. One of most often asked questions is whether all fats are unhealthy and the difference between types of fats, such as saturated and unsaturated fat. First, fat has a place in your diet. You need fat for many of your bodily functions, including weight loss. The unhealthy fats are trans fats, which are often found in baked goods or fried foods.
The key to knowing which fat is saturated and which is unsaturated is right before your eyes.
Check out the fat at room temperatures. Saturated fats are solid, but unsaturated fats are normally liquid. Fats are in four classes, saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats. As mentioned earlier, the trans fats are bad for you. The type of bonding with hydrogen makes a difference whether the fat is solid or liquid at room temperature.
There’s a myth about saturated fat being unhealthy.
If you consume the right amounts of saturated fat, it’s perfectly healthy. In fact, one study that was published in 2019 showed that decreasing the amount of saturated fat in your diet offered no health benefits. The reduction in saturated fat didn’t even reduce heart disease. So why is it so vilified? It’s all about one mega-study done in the 1960s that was paid for by the sugar industry. They bribed the three Harvard scientists that did the study with an extra $50,000 each, which is more like getting $470,000 today. They ask them to ignore the studies that pointed to sugar as the culprit and focus only on those that said saturated fat was the cause of heart disease.
You need saturated fat in your diet.
Each type of fat does something different. There are basically four types of saturated fat that are normally in diets, stearic found in foods with animal fat, lauric from foods like coconut oil, palmitic that’s in palm oil, dairy and animal products and myristic acid that’s in dairy and coconut oil. For instance, the body can’t build cell membranes without saturated fat. Cell membranes are 50% saturated fat. Myristic acid boosts the immune system and aids in fighting tumors. Lauric acid has antimicrobial properties. You need saturated fats to absorb fat soluble vitamins and saturated fats for healthy bones, proper growth and to prevent colon cancer and multiple sclerosis.
You also need unsaturated fat.
Unsaturated fat lowers inflammation and aids in preventing heart disease. There are basically two types of unsaturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The polyunsaturated contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They both play a role in heart health, building better skin, hair bone and reproductive health. Unsaturated fat is important for both the nervous system and metabolism. It increases the good cholesterol and reduces the bad cholesterol. Monounsaturated fat also helps control blood sugar levels.
- You’ll get polyunsaturated fat when you eat salmon, Brazil nuts, walnuts, flaxseed, poppy seed and chia seeds. Monounsaturated fats are found in pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, avocado and olive oil.
- Fat free foods, foods where the fat is removed, are often unhealthier than the full fat originals. That’s because the fat is replaced with sugar to give it flavor.
- You need about 20 to 35% of your caloric intake to come from fat. It should include 15 to 20% of caloric intake from monounsaturated fat, 5 to 10% from polyunsaturated, 10% from saturated and 0% from trans fats.
- Coconut oil, butter and dairy from grass fed cows, yogurt and fish. Many of these foods also provide heart healthy benefits.
For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym