Joe Haywood English 1101 M, W- 6pm 27July11 Good Fats vs. Bad Fats In today’s society, eating healthy is bigger then ever with everyone trying to achieve his or her dream body. Any fitness or diet professional will tell you that the biggest way to alter your appearance is by changing your eating habits. One area of the diet that seems to confuse people when it comes to eating healthy is fat. For years fat in the diet is something that people always try to avoid and have always been associated with rising cholesterol levels, causing cardiac diseases and obesity.

For years doctors and nutritionist have preached the benefits of a low fat diet. Although these disease can be linked to a high intake of fat in the diet, what a lot of people don’t realize is that fat is need in the body and is very beneficial when consumed properly. Fat is also use to absorb nutrients, improve heart and brain health, provide cell maintenance, lower the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Keys to gaining the benefits of fats are being able to decipher the difference between unsaturated “good fats” and saturated “bad fats” in you diet but at the same time realizing that both are needed in the diet.

Good fats are also known as unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. ” These fats can be found in fatty fish, peanut butter, almond butter, soy milk, nuts, avocados, olives and oils that are liquid at room temperature. Fish oil, omega 3s and omega 6s are good fats that can also be consumed in supplement forms. (Tsang 2004) The benefits of good fats are they are known to decrease LDL or “bad cholesterol” level and raise HDL “good cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer, improve joint health and improve emotional well being.

Bad fats also go by the names of saturated and trans fat. Saturated fat can be found in high amounts in animal products, whole dairy product, eggs and lard. These fats are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and can lead to higher risk of chronic cardiac disease. Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Trans fats are used to extend the shelf life of processed foods. They can be found in cookies, cakes, French fries, donuts and any items that contain hydronated oils.

Trans fat should be avoided at all cost. These fats are the leading cause of cardiac diseases and raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. These fats are considered to be so bad that since 2006 all food manufactures are required to list their trans fats content on their food labels. (Mann, 2011) Intake of fats has been separated into the two categories of good and bad. To maintain a healthy living both need to be included in your diet. Fat should make up 20-35 percent of your caloric intake.

Less then 10 percent should come form saturated fats with the rest coming from unsaturated fats. Trans fat should be avoided at all cost. Following these recommendations will lead to many health benefits. Works Cited Mann, Denise. “Trans Fats: The Science and the Risks. ” WebMD Web. 28 Jul 2011 http://www. webmd. com/diet/features/trans-fats-science-and-risks Tsang, Gloria. “Good Fats and Bad Fats. ” Health Castle. com (2004) Web. 28 Jul 2011. http://www. healthcastle. com/goodfats-badfats. shtml