Nutrition A to Z
n Nutrition n Malnutrition n Metabolism n The 5 Food Groups
n Vitamins n Good Fats Vs Bad Fats n Carbohydrates n Dietary Guidelines
n Minerals n Height and Weight Charts n Glossary of Terms n Contact Us n Home

Good Fats Vs Bad Fats

The most common buzzwords that we come across in magazines, TV cooking shows, etc are “Good Fats” and “Bad Fats”. What are these? And, why one type is good and other type is bad??
Human body forms some significant materials from fats and also use fat to store and transport different vitamins within the body. Fat also take part in sugar and insulin metabolism and thus add towards weight loss and maintenance. Fat is important for healthy diet. And fat makes food tasty and better. But all the fats are not good.
The basic with the fat is that these contain more than twice the calories of an equal amount of protein and carbohydrate. A diet with more fat and / or sugar causes weight gain problem, which further leads to obesity and other health problems. A low fat diet helps in weight reduction.
Saturated fat if taken in excess can lead to a range of disease like heart problems and some time cancers.
Store shelves are now lined with virtually fat-free potato chips, luncheon meats, and cookies, all concocted so people can literally have their cake and eat it too.  However, beware – a product that claims to be low in fat may still be high in sugar.
Being “fat-healthy” is not just about avoiding the saturated fats, but its’ about making it sure that you are taking the right kind of fat in appropriate quantity in your diet.

Some of the sources of Good Fats are fish, nuts, avocados, seeds and fresh creamery butter.
Good Fats are naturally occurring fats, which cannot be tampered. The Good Fats include monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats.

1. Monounsaturated Fats- These are largely found in olive oil, peanuts, canola oil, and avocados. Monounsaturated fat lessen total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol level in our body. LDL cholesterol accumulates and blocks arteries. These fats maintain the level of good HDL cholesterol in our body that carries away cholesterol from artery walls and delivers it to the lever for disposal.

2. Polyunsaturated fatty acids also called Omega – 3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts. Research proves that people who eat much of omega – 3s, for example Eskimos, (whose principal diet is fish), have fewer serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes etc. Omega – 3 fatty acids also helps in prevention and treatment of depression, arthritis, asthma, colitis, and cardiovascular disease.  

The following two fats are considered bad:

1. Trans Fat and 2. Saturated Fat

  1. Trans Fat- Trans fat are man made fat formed by turning of liquid oil into more solid fat like shortening and margarine. These are worse type of fat. Trans fat are found in many-packaged food items like margarine, cookies, cakes, doughnuts and potato chips etc. These are worse than saturate fats and harmful to our blood vessels, “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and waistline.
  2. Saturated Fat-These are naturally occurring fats and found in almost all fatty foods, particularly in fatty red meats, full-fat dairy products, butter and tropical oils such as palm oil and coconut oil. Saturate fat is also contained in Western Foods like pizza, hamburgers, tacos, ice cream, lasagna and cheese.
  • Only 2% of our calories come from trans fat, while 13% (6 times as much) comes from saturated fat.
  • While we need to eat less fat we also require balancing the type of fat, which we consume in our diet.
  • Japanese, European and Mediterranean live longer and face less problems of heart disease etc. The typical fat diet of these people contain two – to – one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Scientists claims that a diet high in Omega – 3 fatty acids can help prevent obesity and a range of health issues and complications like heart problems, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and arthritis problems.

So people need to consume about 1.5 grams of Omega –3 fatty acids a week.

A six-ounce serving of most fish, like, including cod, salmon, rainbow trout, flounder, tuna, clams, catfish, haddock, perch, and halibut, has between 0.2 and 0.9 grams of omega-3 fats. Tinned sardines are particularly high in Omega-3 fats.
People who take diets high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 are much prone to heart disease etc. This is not because the omega-6 fats are this much bad, but the fact is overeating and that too particularly in western countries.

How to decrease your Omega –6 intakes and improve on Omega-3?

Avoid foods fried in vegetables oil such as corn and sunflower and processed foods. Also reduce the intake of meats seeds, nuts, and grains. At the same time increase the quantity of omega –3. Eat cold-water marine fish, such as salmon and mackerel, as well as green leafy vegetables. Cook your food with canola oil instead of vegetables oil.


n Nutrition

n Malnutrition

n Metabolism

n The 5 Food Groups

n Vitamins

n Good Fats Vs Bad Fats

n Carbohydrates

n Dietary Guidelines

n Minerals

n Height and Weight Charts

n Glossary of Terms

n Contact Us

n Home


Nutrition Pyramind