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Confused about fats?

11 Nov

In the last decade we have been bombarded by so much information about fats and our growing obesity that is enough to turn one either off fats or eat it regardless out of the disgust of conflicting viewpoints.

According to Harvard School of  Public Health there are good fats and bad fats and the consumer should be aware of these to make informed choices of what you will included and the amount you need.

It is now common knowledge that saturated and trans fat are bad for our health.  What are these? These include: butter, cheese, coconut milk, coconut oil, fats in red meat, chocolate and icecream;

transfat are those fats that are reconstituted to form margarines,  vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Fats and cholesterol

Cholesterol is a wax like substance which the liver makes and links it to carrier proteins called lipoprotiens.  The lipoproteins  helps cholesterol to dissolve in blood and not be transported to all parts of the body including the heart.

Low density lipopoproteins the dangerous one  – carry protein from the blood to all parts of the body where as high density lioproteins helps to carry  cholesterol from the blood back to the liver to be processed and eliminated from the body.

The equation therefore is the higher LDL in the body and the lower your HDL the greater your risk for heart or heart related disease.

Here are some tips:

choose liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine with less transfat than butter or lard;

reduce consumption of commercially baked goods;

avoid deep fried foods especially in restaurants

read the labels,  check the ingredients and the amount of fats in the products you buy

For adults 20 years and over the following guidelines for daily optimum level recommended are:

Total cholesterol less than 200 milligrams for deciliter

HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40 mg

LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg

The bottom line is reduce saturated fats from red meat, cheese, butters etc. replace those fats with olive oil and other oils with higher HDL

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Something about trans Fat

3 Aug

There is a lot of talk going on these days about trans fat and how bad it is for our health. Dietians and other health professionals recommend that we cut out drastically limit our intake of trans fat.  Below is what Dr. Agaston has to say on the topic: 

Trans fats are the worst offenders. Also known as trans fatty acids, these unhealthy fats are typically found in margarines, shortening, and deep-fried foods. They may also be found in refined carbohydrates, including many commercially baked breads and snacks (such as cookies and crackers).  Trans fats are partially hydrogenated oils that were created to increase the shelf life of foods. These harmful fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol, a combination that poses a great risk for heart disease. It’s best to limit your consumption of trans fats and, instead, focus on eating good fats, like the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kinds. These fats are actually beneficial to your health, particularly when they replace trans fats in your diet. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties that may protect the lining of the coronary arteries, which in turn helps reduce the risk of heart disease. These good fats are found in many delicious and nutritious South Beach Diet®-friendly foods, including extra-virgin olive and canola oils, cold-water fish, flaxseed, avocados, and nuts.

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