The Truth About Fat And Your Diet
Fat gets a bad rap in the diet world. But the truth is a healthy diet contains fat. Fat is crucial to the human body. Fat serves as an energy source. Fat also assists with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, which are critical to the body’s functions. Lastly, fat helps build cellular membrane which is crucial for blood clotting, muscle movement and inflammation. The bottom line is - your body needs fat.
There are many different types of fat and for simplicity’s sake, let’s break it down to two components: good fats and bad fats. Maintaining a healthy diet requires determining how much fat should be part of an individual’s diet, then identifying and sourcing the appropriate food item to consume the good fat.
There are many types of fats out there. Some much better than others. Good fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats. Knowing the difference between good and bad fats and understanding which foods contain those fats is essential to maintaining and following a healthy diet.
The Bad Fats
If there was a villain in a fictional world made up of pure fat, trans fat would be mix between Lex Luther and The Joker. Trans fats are the worst type of fats. Period. They have no known health benefits and increase harmful LDL cholesterol while reducing the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. If you’re waiting for a silver lining, it’s not coming. Trans Fats are so bad that governments have taken action and now limit the allowable amount of Trans Fats in some consumers’ foods. Additionally, the World Health Organization has called for the elimination of trans fats worldwide. That’s right. trans fats are so bad that different governments and people across the globe want to work together to get rid of ‘em. Apparently, trans fats are the poster child for global cooperation. The UN should take note.
Now you’re probably feeling scared, paranoid and wondering where these evil fats hide and how you can avoid them. Trans fats are prevalent in fried foods and baked goods (sigh). You can identify the amount of Trans Fats in a particular food by looking at the nutrition panel. Even if you’re not being careful, good samaritans are looking out for you. Some cities have taken steps to ban trans fats or limit the amount of trans fats that restaurants can use on their menus. Check your local rules and regulations to see whether your city or town has enacted a trans fat ban.
Saturated fat also consumption also needs to be limited. It can increase bad LDL cholesterol and risks for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat consumption to 5% to 6% of daily caloric intake. Trans fat may be worse than saturated fat because trans fat not only increases bad LDL cholesterol, but also on top of that, some experts think it decreases the good HDL cholesterol.
The Good Fats
Now onto the good. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats - also known as Batman and Robin - are the good fats. These are the fats that serve as powerful energy sources, promote growth and are essential to the body’s function. The American Heart Association advises that adult’s consume between 20% - 35% of their daily caloric intake from fat. So based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet, that’s 400-700 calories per day derived from fat.
The benefits of the widely popular Mediterranean diet further showcase the health advntages of good fat. People who adhere to the Mediterranean diet have a low rate of heart disease even though they enjoy a high fat diet.
We’re not telling you what to eat or how much to eat. But it’s essential to understand what’s in your food and how it can affect your health. Eat mostly good fats. Avoid trans fat entirely. And monitor saturated fat consumption.
Our go-to fat source is not surprisingly, DUCK FAT. Learn more about duck fat >