The Surprising Twist on Fats that Might Save Your Life

For years, we’ve been bombarded with warnings from nutritionists and health experts about the dangers of consuming too much fat. But as it turns out, not all fats are created equal, and some of the fats we have avoided for decades actually have health benefits. Let’s dive in and clear up the confusion about fats, so you can make the best choices for your health.

The Truth About Trans Fats

Trans fats, found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, are used in many packaged foods to prolong shelf life. They have been proven to be dangerous, and they are the main source of dietary fats in the American diet. Study after study has now shown that trans fats are directly linked to chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The FDA has announced that trans fats “are not generally recognized as safe for use in food.” Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that removing trans fats from the American diet could “prevent as many as 20,000 additional heart attacks and up to 7,000 additional coronary deaths each year.” And that’s not all—removing trans fats could also help lower rates of diabetes, obesity, and other health issues.

Packaged foods containing trans fats include peanut butter, cereals, cakes, crackers, popcorn, and frozen pizza, among others. So, it’s essential to read the labels and avoid any product containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.

The Truth About Saturated Fat

For decades, saturated fat, found mainly in animal products, was seen as the leading cause of heart disease. But recent studies by expert cardiologists have debunked this misconception. According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease. In fact, the opposite is true: reducing saturated fat from the diet has actually increased our cardiovascular risks.

The BMJ states: “The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks.”

So, what should you do with this newfound knowledge? Here’s how you can make changes to your diet that can have a significant impact on your health.

Skip the Trans Fats

Starting today, avoid eating anything that contains trans fats (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils). When you pick up a package from the grocery store shelf, look at the label. If trans fat is listed as an ingredient, skip it!

Embrace Healthy Saturated Fats

Add some healthy saturated fats into your diet. This includes omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil), avocados, coconuts, grass-fed organic milk and its products (butter, cheese, etc.), organic eggs, raw nuts and nut butters, and organic grass-fed beef.

By removing harmful trans fats from your diet and incorporating beneficial saturated fats, you can help protect yourself from potentially life-threatening diseases and enjoy better overall health.

Other Fats: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats

Apart from saturated fats, two other types of fats deserve mention: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Both of these fats have been shown to provide a wide range of health benefits, including lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL). They may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sources of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and most nuts. Polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, can be found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and some seeds.

Incorporate these healthy fats into your diet in moderation, while continuing to avoid trans fats and making informed choices about saturated fats.

The Bottom Line

The key takeaway here is that fats, like any other nutrient, should be consumed in moderation and chosen wisely. By avoiding dangerous trans fats, embracing healthy saturated fats, and incorporating monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet, you can enjoy better health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. So, take control of your nutrition, make informed choices, and enjoy the benefits that come with a balanced, healthy diet.