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What are Good Fats?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Good fats contain many nutrients we need to keep our body healthy. Despite the fact that many people think their diet is already too full of fat, recent research has shown that 90% of us do not eat enough of them. Thee fats are also known as essential fatty acids, and that is exactly what they are, fats which are essential to good health.

We need a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in order to maintain healthy cardiac function, mood stability, insulin balance, joint health and skin health. We need to keep the intake of these good fats balanced because they work in opposition to each other. Too much of one type of fat and not enough of the other can cause a variety of problems. For example, too much omega-6 can cause problems such as degenerative and inflammatory diseases.

Our bodies do not make good fats; we can only get them in food. Omega-3 is found in fish and fish oil, all green leafy vegetables, hemp and walnuts. Omega-6 is found in corn oil and other vegetable oils such as safflower oil. Surveys show that most people do not have enough omega-3 in their diet, while they have too much omega-6.

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Just as it is essential that our intake of good fats is balanced, we also need to get rid of the bad fats in our diet. Trans fatty acids are bad fats. They appear on ingredient labels as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. These fats are used in the prepared food industry to prolong shelf life. They can be found in cookies, crackers, peanut butter and most baked goods.

As opposed to good fats, trans fatty acids are dangerous to good health. There is pressure on the food industry to ban these fats. They have already been banned in Holland. The body absorbs these fats more readily than good fats, and trans fats force the body to take up less of what little beneficial fats we consume.

One way to obtain good fats is to look out for foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats can be found in nuts, canola and olive oils. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in salmon and fish oil.

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anon177663
Post 3

try to be specific in determining the real good fats and please do not generalize.

ColdRain
Post 2

love0876- Avocados are a great food to eat if you want to consume good fats. Avocados are full of mono saturated fats which are good for the heart and can help reduce blood pressure. However, make sure that you don't consume too many avocados. They are full of good fat, but they are also quite high in calories. Eat them sparingly if you don't want your waistline to expand.

Nuts of all kinds also contain lots of good fats. Cashews and almonds are full of good fats that are good for the heart and can even reduce cholesterol.

love0876
Post 1

What are some specific foods that I can eat that contain lots of good fat?

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