Good Fats and Bad Fats -- Whats The Difference?
As a low carb dieter, your diet is undoubtedly high in fat. And if you've done research on the different types of fats, you probably heard the two big buzz words surrounding fats today--"good fats" and "bad fats." Up to that point, you may have thought all fats were bad--or good, but only for low carb dieters.
In this article, I am going to go over which fats are "good" and which fats are "bad"--and how much of each you should consume with your low carb diet.
Let's start with "bad" fats.
1. Saturated fats.
As a low carb dieter, you will run into these often. Saturated fats are in fatty meat cuts, cheese, milk, and poultry with skin. Many low carb diets, such as Atkins, have suggested in the past that dieters consume saturated fats, but most now insist that dieters consume more "good fats."
Saturated fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL), which can cause heart disease and certain types of cancer. If your low carb diet is high in saturated fats, you should consider scaling this back to a level that satiates your cravings, but doesn't jeopardize your health.
2. Hydrogenated Fats (trans-fats).
Hydrogenated fats are man-made, but they take on many of the traits of saturated fats. They are specifically re-engineered to stay hard at room temperature.
You can find hydrogenated fats in sweets and cookies, which you most likely will not be eating on your low carb diet; however, you can also find it in any margarine products, so it is important to check the ingredient labels on food products before you purchase them.
Now, for the "good" fats:
1. Monounsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are natural fats that lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and prevent "good" cholesterol (HDL) from getting lower. As a low carb dieter, you will probably encounter a lot of monounsaturated fats in the form of canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and nuts
Not only are these sources carb-free or low carb, but most of them are also high in protein, promote good heart health, and may reduce the risk of some cancers.
2. Polyunsaturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats are also natural fats. They come in two major groupings: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. As a low carb dieter, you can find Omega-3 in most types of fatty fish, such as salmon and trout; Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in most seed oils.
Omega fatty acids help to reduce bad cholesterol, promote brain health, and reduce incidence of sudden death from heart attacks.
As a low carb dieter, you will encounter a lot of fats. It is important that you eat saturated fats to satiate your hunger and prevent cravings, but you should also focus primarily on "good" fats--poly and monounsaturated fats--to increase your "good cholesterol," lower your bad cholesterol," and prevent certain types of cancer.