Fat and Your Heart

October 25, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Weight Loss

If you are concerned about maintaining a healthy heart, you might be trying hard to avoid all dietary fat. During the 1990s, the trend was to avoid all fatty foods. Actually though, not all fat is created equal. Studies show that a completely fat-free or low-fat diet may actually do more harm than good.

There are basically three types of fat. They can be broken into even more categories, but the big three are the most important: unsaturated, saturated, and trans fat. While saturated and trans fat are damaging to the heart, the unsaturated fat actually improves the health of your heart.

Unsaturated fat is found in vegetable sources such as olives, nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

• It is also found in fish, soybeans, and flaxseed.

• This type of fat actually helps to lower your cholesterol.

• Unsaturated fat is a liquid at room temperature.

Saturated fat is found in animal products.

• It comes from the fat on animal products as well as lard.

• This type of fat contributes to high cholesterol and causes your heart and blood vessels to become clogged.

• Saturated fat is solid at room temperature.

Trans fat is the fat that comes from taking liquid fats and chemically processing them to become solid.

• This process is often used to make vegetable shortening and margarine.

• It is also a popular way to add shelf life to other foods such as peanut butter and cookies.

People once thought that margarine and vegetable shortening were healthier than butter and lard because they do not contain saturated fat. However, modern research has found that trans fat is actually worse for your heart than saturated fat.

When it comes to your diet, you should make sure that it includes plenty of healthy fats. Just because an avocado or nuts have fat it doesn’t mean that you need to avoid them. You should also limit your consumption of animal fats. You can do this by choosing lean cuts of meat and eating more chicken and turkey than you do beef.

When it comes to trans fat though, the best thing to do is completely avoid it. Many food manufacturers have worked to remove trans fat from their products. So, when you purchase any food, make sure to check the nutrition label.

The government now requires trans fat to be listed on the label. There’s no such thing as a healthy amount of trans fat. If a product even has 1 gram, you should put it down and find something else.

Trans fats are created by way of a chemical procedure named partial hydrogenation. Liquid vegetable oil, which is an otherwise healthful monounsaturated fat, is infused with hydrogen atoms and thereby converted into a solid fat.

This process creates what was once considered to be a perfect fat for the food market to use: it had a high melting point, its texture is creamy and smooth, and it is reusable in deep-fat frying. Also, partially hydrogenated fats, or trans fats, lengthen the shelf-life of foods.

Since it was thought that hydrogenated fats were a healthier substitute for saturated fats, margerine was considered healthier for you than butter. However many scientific studies currently conclude that trans fats are in fact worse.

This is because although both saturated fats and trans fats do indeed elevate both good and bad total blood choleseterol levels, the trans fats also remove the good cholesterol.

Good cholesterol assists in unclogging arteries. Plus, trans fats also raise triglyceride blood levels which increases the threat of cardiovascular illness.

So, essentially, the more solid the fat is, the more it clogs our arteries.

For information on cholesterol and cholesterol lowering foods visit http://www.low-cholesterol-recipeonline.com


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