Fats get a bad for being unhealthy. Historically, health and diet fads have targeted fats in general as the culprits to blame for obesity and other health problems. In recent years however, that stigma has changed. The internet is flooded with articles, videos, and blog posts from trainers, scientists, and “health-gurus” advising their audience to load-up on omega-3s, avocados, MCT oil, and other healthy fats. But do you know what the healthy fats are and where to get them? Do you know the difference between trans fat and a monounsaturated fat? Today, we bring you the first of a two-part serious on dietary fats. Keep reading to learn about bad fats.
“Bad fats”, are dietary fats that tend to stay solid at room temperature, like butter or margarine. These fats also negatively impact your cholesterol by raising bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood.
Trans Fats: Avoid As Much As Possible!
Trans fatty acids, or trans fats for short, are a form of unsaturated fat that can be found in both natural and artificial forms. Natural trans fats can found in meat and dairy products that come from animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. Trans fats are produced in the guts of these animals by bacteria that breakdown their food. Naturally occurring trans fats is sometimes referred to as ruminant fat as it comes from ruminant animals.
Artificial trans fats are created through an industrial process that hydrogenates liquid vegetable oils and makes them solid. These processed foods are called partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats were created because they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce, and have a longer shelf-life than other fats. When used for cooking, they add flavor and texture to foods. Artificial trans fats are used by many restaurants for deep frying food because they can be used repeatedly without breaking down.
Why Are Trans Fats Bad?
When it comes to trans fats, naturally occurring ones aren’t a major concern for healthy individuals. Their food sources, like beef and dairy products, should just be consumed in moderation. This isn’t the case for artificial trans fats.
Artificial trans fats have been shown to increase your risk for heart disease and significantly increase your LDL cholesterol. To take it further, some studies have shown evidence that trans fat may increase your risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats also may increase overall inflammation in the body, which is thought to a primary cause of many chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and arthritis.
In 2018, the FDA started the process of banning partially hydrogenated oils in most processed foods. Fully avoiding trans fats, however, is tricky, but one way to ensure that you lower your trans fat intake is by reading nutrition labels. Avoiding these foods can also help:
1) Fast food
2) Frozen pizza
3) Vegetable shortening and some margarine
4) Snack foods (such as microwave popcorn)
5) Coffee creamer
Saturated Fats: Eat Sparingly.
Saturated fats, named because they are “saturated” with hydrogen molecules, and as a result, stay solid at room temperature are the other bad fat on our list. Saturated fats are not as bad for you as trans fats but replacing saturated fats with healthier alternatives can lower blood cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a diet that receives 5% to 6% of daily calories from saturated fats. That’s roughly 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
What foods have saturated fats?
Saturated fats are found naturally in many foods and when eaten sparingly, can be a part of a healthy diet. The main source of dietary saturated fats is food products from animals. Baked goods and fried foods also contain high levels of saturated fats. Surprisingly, plant-based oils such as coconut oil can be high in saturated fats. Below are some examples of foods with saturated fats.
1) Fatty beef
2) Coconut Oil
6) Palm oil
At Diabetes Texas, we specialize in helping our patient better understand their body and how it is affected by diabetes. We teach proper management and help you form the right habits to make diabetes just a detail of your life, and not the focal point. Let us help you live a normal and active life. For information on becoming a patient, contact our office today.