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The Good Fat, The Good Sugar

Updated on April 6, 2013
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Good and Bad for You

Everything is best in moderation, and this includes fatty or sugary foods. However some fats are much better for us than others. Some sugars take longer to process in the body, and cause more fat to be stored. There are bad fats and bad sugars, and it is best to replace these with fats and sugars that offer better nutritional value. Below describes the best fats and sugars you can eat and how the bad types react inside your body. Followed by a shopping list with the best foods so you can reap the benefits of choosing good over bad. This article is designed for those of us who love a fattening, sugary treat every now and then!

Beware Saturated Fats

There is a whole list of the different kinds of fats. However let's start by separating our fats into two basic groups: saturated and unsaturated. The more saturated a fat is, the more solid it will appear to be when at room temperate or when refrigerated. It is best to skip on saturated fats when possible, as they are linked to higher cholesterol and clogged arteries. Though it is entirely possible that some saturated fats are better for you than others, as a rule of thumb it is best to avoid them. Their solid, sticking nature within the bloodstream results in complications.The other fat to always avoid? Trans fats, or hydrogenated fats. These fats are actually considered to be unsaturated. But through processing, hydrogen is added to make the fat appear solid (saturated) and to protect against spoilage. Many commercial food companies use these like they would use salt to keep products tasting good for longer. Trans fats are known to raise bad cholesterol as well as lower good cholesterol, they are what I call the double-whammy fat. They should not be a part of a healthy diet, but appear in all the foods we crave like crackers and cookies. Some believe that naturally occurring partially hydrogenated fats may not be as bad as the man-made type.

Glucose, Sucrose, Fructose

All three are the same, they are sugars. And all sugars are carbohydrates. But how they react within the body differs, and can mean extra weight added to your body stores after a meal. Glucose is the simple sugar and is quickly broken down into energy through glycolysis. Sucrose actually contains glucose and fructose, these two combined makes for a sweeter taste. Because it contains the sugar fructose, it must go through a different process in order to be broken down in the body. Fructose is only broken down within the liver, and produces fat cells among other things. In the end, however, it produces the same amount of actual energy as glucose. This is not saying that you should stick with the simple over the compound. Compound carbohydrates keeps our stomachs full longer and are commonly a better choice. Our bodies need sugar for energy, but too much sugar can cause a myriad of complications, including weight gain.

Guilt-Free Grocery List

Food Item
Contains
Health Benefits
Serving Size
Comment
Avocado
Monounsaturated fats
Protects from heart disease
About half an avacado per day
Relatively high fat
Olive Oil
Monounsaturated fats
Protects immune system
About 3 tablespoons per day
Do not use to cook with
Walnuts
Omega-3's Omega-6's
Helps fight certain cancers
Half cup/day, or over dessert
Perfect to cook with
Salmon
Omega-3's fatty acids
Fish oils help vision
3 oz per person
Fatty, cold-water fish is best
Peanut Butter
Monounsaturated fats
Full of protein, potassium, fiber
I'll have 2 tablespoons only
My go-to snack to feel full!

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    • Pamela-anne profile image

      Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Thanks for sharing these healthy words I all of a sudden have and urge for some peanut butter! Yum! Voting Up!

    • Little Miss Lyz profile image
      Author

      Lyz B. 4 years ago from Vermont

      Oh great, other people craving PB makes me crave some PB!

      Thanks Pamela~

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