Are all fats bad for your heart? Not really. Some fats should be removed from our diet, but other ones can actually be good for the heart!
There are two kinds of bad fats that people should avoid:
- Saturated fats
These fats are triglicerids that contain only saturated fatty acids. They increase LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood. They are found in meat, eggs, seafood, dairy products (especialy ice cream and whole milk), coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, chocolate and butter.
- Trans fats
This is a type of unsaturated fats that can be naturally found, but most of them are industrially created to increase the shelf life of processed foods. Trans fats can be found in some cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, margarine, onion rings and donuts.
But there are also good fats that can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease:
- Monounsaturated fats
These fats lower total cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats can be found in nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios), avocado, canola and olive oil. These fats have also been found to help in weight loss, particularly body fat. The phenol found in olive oil keeps the arteries elastic and healthy.
- Polyunsaturated fats
These fats (which include Omega 3 fatty acids) also lower bad cholesterol. They are included in seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, and sunflower oils.
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