ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fats: Which Ones to Eat and Which Ones to Avoid

Updated on July 11, 2020
Gerry Yang profile image

Gerry is a freelance writer, nutrition fanatic, self experimenter, and an avid researcher.

Fats: Which One's to Eat and Which One's to Avoid

Fats are essential for your health! Stay as far away from fats as you can!

Wait, what?!

I’m sure you’ve heard both pieces of advice before. You’ve had friends tell you that they’re trying to lose weight by cutting fats completely out of their diet, and you’ve had friends that are on a keto diet telling you that they virtually drink olive oil as an afternoon snack.

So, who exactly should you listen to?

You might think, “fats make you fat.” Or you might listen to your friend that’s on a keto diet because let’s be real… keto’s a pretty cool name for a diet.

Well, both pieces of advice are correct.

Let me explain why.

Types of Fat

There are 3 types of fat. There are unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats.

They each differ in their chemical structure and they each affect the body in different ways.

So, do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news?

Unsaturated Fats

Good news, here we go!

Unsaturated fats are fats that have double carbon-to-carbon bonds. These are the healthy fats. People on keto diets eat a lot of these. These are in a liquid state at room temperature.

Unsaturated fats can be subdivided even further into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats have one double bond in their chemical structure, hence “mono.”

They can be found in foods such as:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Canola oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Peanut oil

Monounsaturated fats come with a lot of health benefits too.

Monounsaturated fats can;

  • Help you lose weight
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Decrease inflammation

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats have two or more double bonds in their chemical structure, hence “poly.”

They contain two essential fatty acids; omega-3 and omega-6. These are vital for your brain health and cell growth.

Your body cannot naturally produce these, so these essential fatty acids have to come from your diet.

You can find Omega-3 in mainly nuts, seeds, and fish.

Here is the amount of omega-3 per 85 grams:

  • Salmon - 1.8 grams
  • Herring - 1.7 grams
  • Sardines - 1.2 grams
  • Trout - 0.8 grams

Omega-6 is normally found in oils.

Here are the oils with the highest percentage of polyunsaturated fats.

  • Safflower oil - 74.6%
  • Grapeseed oil - 69.9%
  • Flaxseed oil - 67.9%
  • Sunflower oil - 65.7%

Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats come with health benefits too.

Polyunsaturated fats can;

  • Reduce age-related mental decline.
  • Improve infant development.
  • Promote heart health

Saturated Fats

The carbon atoms in saturated fats are surrounded by hydrogen atoms. In other words, the carbon atoms are saturated with carbon atoms.

Saturated fats are solids at room temperature.

Saturated fats can be found in food such as;

  • Red meat
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Whole milk
  • Cheese

Right, I have some not-so-good news for you now.

Saturated fats aren’t great for your health. They have been shown to increase cholesterol levels in your body. It increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body.

This can cause blockages in your arteries that prevent fluid blood flow. This, in turn, can cause higher blood pressure levels.

This is why some expert nutritionists recommend that saturated fats take up no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake.

Trans fats

Right, unfortunately, sunshine and rainbows are gone. Now, we’ve got to the bad news.

Trans fats are the bad fats. Trans fats are fats that have undergone a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is a process where hydrogen atoms are added to unsaturated fat. This turns them solid and prevents them from turning rancid. This means that the oils will be preserved for a long time without developing an unpleasant taste.

Trans fats are linked to an excessive amount of bad cholesterol, inflammation, a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

If that doesn’t sound bad enough to you. Then let me just tell you that trans fats are banned in the United States.

Yes, they’re that bad!

Conclusion

Fats are essential for your health! Stay as far away from fats as you can!

Can you see how these make sense now?

Both pieces of advice were perfectly viable.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are both essential for your health. They are vital for brain development and cell growth, and your body does not naturally produce it.

So, fats are essential for your health!

But on the other hand, saturated fat and trans fats can cause inflammation and high cholesterol.

So, stay as far away from fats as you can!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Gerry Yang

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)