Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to chat about fat. As many of us have come to realize, fat isn’t nearly unhealthy as we thought it was. In fact, certain types of fat are incredibly healthy! Avoiding all fat all the time is definitely not a good way to follow a healthy diet. On the contrary, people who consume unsaturated fats have lower instances of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and may even benefit from lower blood sugar levels. Here is a brief overview of the fats that you should consume and those that you should avoid:
Healthy Fats – As I mentioned above, unsaturated fats are very healthy. There are two types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both are very hearty healthy and contain their own health benefits. They are found in various oils (e.g. olive, canola, etc.), avocados, nuts, seeds, flaxseed, and more.
Unhealthy Fats – There is no debate over the most unhealthiest of fats – trans fat. When oils go through a process called partial hydrogenation, trans fats are formed. This process keeps fats solid at room temperature and gives them a much longer shelf life. This is why they are so popular in shelf-stable, processed foods. Trans fats increase cholesterol levels and actually lower the good cholesterol in your body. They are incredibly unhealthy and should be avoided – even in small amounts.
There is a lot of controversy over saturated fat. What is clear is that saturated fat in itself does not make you gain weight. However, many studies have shown that consuming saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels.
Because so much is unknown about saturated fat, I highly recommend sticking to consuming healthy fats. Choose nuts, seeds, and avocado over red meat. Remember, however, that foods with healthy fats are pretty calorically dense. Don’t eat the entire bag of peanuts in one sitting! The good thing is that a small amount of unsaturated fat will keep you full for a long time. A snack of an apple and almonds is so much better than a few Oreos!!