When someone hears the word “fat” they think of thousands of calories and bad health. Generally, it is thought that all kinds of fat are bad for health which is not the case. Some fats are even good for health and improve cardiovascular health.
Sandra Arévalo is a diabetes educator and the director of community and patient education, Montefiore Nyack Hospital. She said that some fats lead to better cardiovascular health and general health overall.
Sandra also said that these fats help in maintaining the flexibility of the blood vessels. However, the bad fats clog the arteries and interrupt the blood flow.
Cardiovascular health is a major issue in the world and heart diseases cause nearly 17.3 million fatalities around the world annually. According to the American Heart Association, the saturated fat in your diet should be minimum.
The saturated fat is bad for your cardiovascular health and it should be replaced with good fat. Unsaturated vegetable oil is a good replacement for this type of fat. AHA recommends the use of unsaturated fat as it reduces the risk of heart disease by at least 30%.
The body obtains fat from different sources. Some are produced inside the body and some come directly from the food in the form of calories. Fat is extremely important to maintain a healthy body and a major energy source, according to Arévalo.
She also mentioned the major roles of fat in the body. It helps the body absorb the essential mineral and vitamins. Also, it has some structural functions such as building the cells membranes and sheaths around the nerve cells. Fat also helps in muscle movement.
But some dietary fats contribute to poor cardiovascular health. Also, fats have a higher number of calories which leads to an increase in weight. Fats also cause inflammation in the body.
There are many healthy and unhealthy fats. Hence, it depends upon the decision to incorporate good fats into your diet. A simple way to determine if fat is good or bad is by the consistency of the fat. Bad or saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. However, the good fats are liquid at normal temperature. Olive oil is a good example of such fats.
The bad fats are generally saturated and trans fats. The saturated fats mainly obtained from poultry, meat, and dairy lead to poor cardiovascular health. These fats increase the level of LDL cholesterol which leads to heart disease.
Trans fats are another example of fats bad for your health. These usually come from different types of oils. Trans fats increase the level of fats in the blood and the LDL cholesterol level as well. It also lowers the level of HDL cholesterol which is good for health.
The good fats are mostly unsaturated and present in a liquid form. These are usually present in plant-based products and also help improve the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Omega-3 is a common example of good fat. It is present in different types of fish including tuna, mackerel, salmon, and trout. Omega-3 is also a major constituent of natural plant sources such as vegetable oil, flaxseed, and nuts.
These types of fats reduce the risk of heart disease and also improve cardiovascular health by lowering the level of cholesterol.