Good Fat, Bad Fat

in Fat

If you want to lose weight, build muscle, reduce calories, find the thin inside yourself, and be the best version of yourself you can possibly be, you have to understand FAT. It is so difficult to get a consistent message these days about what kind of fat you should have in your diet, and it's easy to be confused. There are fad diets out there that encourage you to eat nothing but fat (anti-carb diets) and diets that encourage you to eat no fat. The truth is, fat - the right kind of fat - is essential to your health and to healthy weight loss.

Good Fat

It is difficult to imagine there is anyone left in the world that has not been bombarded with information about Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (vegetable-based fats) fats and are not only good for your heart and your ability to lose weight but also help your body absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D.

There are so many different messages about fat these days-the good, the bad and the ugly - that it's no surprise that you might be a little confused. Although much maligned, fat actually has a useful purpose in the body. It's a source of energy, provides the building blocks for cell membranes, and helps keep key systems of your body functioning properly. Fat is also needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, like E, D, K, and A.

Consuming polyunsaturated fats that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. There are many good sources of Omega-3s: salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, and soybean oil. Monounsaturated fats like those found in walnuts, almonds, and extra-virgin olive oil are also important to your diet.

Bad Fat

Bad fat is saturated fat. Saturated fat is animal-based, like the fat found in meat, butter, and whole milk. While your body needs a TINY amount of saturated fat, you never need to add it to your diet; you will obtain enough through the foods you consume without trying. If you consume too much saturated fat, it can increase your cholesterol level and contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. Limit your intake of this fat.

The Worst Fat

Trans fats (also seen in ingredient lists as hydrogenated oil) are linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. These fats are so bad that some communities are outlawing them from being used in restaurants. In January 2006, the FDA began requiring nutrition labels to list trans fat on the nutrition label. Avoid food with trans fat at all cost.


As with everything in your life, finding the right balance is key. Polyunsaturated fats, even if taken in the form of a fish oil supplement, have proven to be significant to weight loss and heart health. Add a couple of meals with salmon or switch to cooking with extra virgin olive oil instead of your typical vegetable oil and start making a difference in your fat.

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Good Fat, Bad Fat

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This article was published on 2010/03/31