Fats- The Good, Bad and the Ugly

good_fats

There were little ones, big ones, short ones, fat ones. There were scary looking ones and cute ones. The kind you wanted to squeeze to death until you couldn't squeeze anymore. There were curvy ones, thin ones, light ones and dark ones. So many choices and only a few dollars in her hand.

 Teresa knew that she'd have to choose wisely. The decision she would make here could affect the rest of her life. She looked up at her mom for guidance and received only the shoulder shrug she'd grown accustom to. That meant she was on her own. This pick could determine her destiny.

 She reached for the first one that had caught her eye. It was a cute bunny with a carrot sewn into its hands. Her six year old hands turned it over and over, looking for any signs of imperfection.  Then she noticed it. A small hole forming at the bottom of the stuffed animal. Teresa put it back.

The next one she picked up was a fluffy dog. It was soft and floppy. Her eyes scanned it thoroughly. It looked great. This was the one. After all, she only had enough money from her chores for one stuffed animal and it had to last. They all weren't made equally. She understood that now and looked up one more time at her mother to signal the decision had been made. This one would accompany her bed for the foreseeable future, cuddly enough to bring her peace in the dark, sturdy enough to deal with the tight hugs it would endure all through the night.

There is a persistent myth out there that fats are bad. We crave as a nation low fat foods. We think that low fat or fat free is a good thing. Well I'm here to tell you something many health experts have been screaming from the top of their lungs for a long time. Not all fats are bad! Some are actually good for you! And some...are essential to your overall health.

Let's start with...

The Good

Fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fat types are absolutely pivotal in any healthy eating regiment. They can be found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, shell fish and avocados (who doesn't love guacamole!)

Some benefits to eating foods with monounsaturated fats:

  • Hammers down BAD cholesterol
  • Pumps up GOOD cholesterol
  • Keeps your heart smiling and happy
  • Keeps the inflammation down!

The Bad

Saturated fats can take a toll on the body. It goes without saying that these fats should be marginalized as much as possible. Its tough to steer clear of all saturated fats (if you did, you'd feel kinda like a rabbit). This type of fat can be found in certain fatty cuts of beef, cheese, butter, dairy milk and ice cream. Giving up all or some of these foods can be tough. Reward yourself every once in a while with them. Don't live off of them.

The Ugly

Trans Fats are man made fats that are used in foods such as fried chicken, candy bars, doughnuts, potato chips. You see the pattern. Fried this or processed that. Not good for the body at all. Avoid at all costs! Food companies can get sneaky too because they know transfat is a TERRIBLE word. So keep your eyes peeled for the term “Partially Hydrogenated Oil” on the ingredients label. Its code for TRANS FAT!

Making the right choices on the foods (and fats) we put in our body can make a huge difference in the long run. Just as Teresa. She made the right choice and is reaping the benefits. So can you!

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