People have regarded fats to be unhealthy for long. Especially, when aiming at weight loss, they are the most undesirable thing to have on our plates. Well, if you think in the same way, you might not be completely wrong. ‘You are what you eat’-So eating fats would make you fat! Simple as it sounds. However, we often here dieticians talking about how fats are essential fuels to our body. Now this is true as well. So which one among these is actually the truth? Much like other nutrients, fats too have a variety of types. What effects they would have on our body totally depends on whether they help in raising the good or the bad cholesterol. To understand this, let us go into a little depth for understanding the types of fats.
1. Saturated : These are fats with single bonds between their units. Hence, gets broken down and absorbed in the body quickly. These are solid at room temperature. You are right! Butter is an example of saturated fats. Dairy fats and meat fall under this category. 2. Unsaturated: These have double bonds between each unit. Thus, they aren’t as quickly absorbed. They are liquid at room temperature. This involves plant based-oil. 3. Mono and Polyunsaturated: These fall under the category of unsaturated fats. They basically differ in their chemical structures. 4. Trans fat : They too fall under unsaturated fats but possess properties different than mono and poly unsaturated fats. They are found in meat and milk fat and have shown an increased risk of cardio vascular diseases in their consumers.
Good VS bad : These days if you check the back of food packs, the breakdown of ‘types’ of fats are written in detail instead of just mentioning the word ‘fats’. There’s a reason why people have become choosier when it comes to fats. Saturated fats have shown to lower HDL levels which is better known as the good cholesterol. Whereas unsaturated fats lower LDL levels which is the bad cholesterol. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids which have proved to protect the heart. When talking about weight loss, unsaturated fats are always a choice.
Fats and weight loss : Fats are essential components of our diet and hence cannot be ruled out completely. Infact, diets like the Keto diet advocate fat intake for weight loss. Even general diet plans tell us to CUT DOWN of fats and not abandon them completely. Whether following a diet or not, make it a practice to switch to unsaturated fats like those in nuts, seed oil and fruits like avocados. So next time you look at fatty sources of food, choose wisely and don’t shy away from adding them to your plate.