GOOD AND BAD FATS
There are four kinds of fats: trans, saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. Virtually all foods contain some type of fat in them. Most foods with fat have saturated and unsaturated in them but usually more of one kind than the other. The nutrition label on food tell us how much and what type of fats are in the food item. FDA does not require all fats to be listed such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Also if food product has less than 0.5g of trans fat FDA allows the item to show 0g trans fat on label.
The first fat listed on nutrition labels is saturated fat. Saturated fat happens to be considered a bad fat. Another type of bad fat is called trans fat. Transfat is a fatty acid formed through chemical process called hydrogentation. Hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to reconfigure the fat molecule into solid fat. Hydrogenation allows for longer shelvelife and flavor stability in commercially baked goods, crackers, snack foods, shortening, and some margarines. Natural levels of trans fat are found in meat and dairy products. Transfat should always be avoided because body does not know what to do with it and will not digest it.
Saturated and trans fat increase blood cholesterol concentrations contributing to clogged arteries that block the flow of oxygen rich blood to the heart and brain. These bad fats raise low density lipoproteins LDLs “bad cholesterol” and reduce high density lipoproteins HDLs “good cholesterol”. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2g of trans fat per day. But, with the allowing food products with less than 0.5g trans fat to list 0g trans fat a person may be consuming more than recommended daily amount.
Next on the list of fats are polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fats. These are the good fats and can acutally prevent health problems. Good fats promote healthy nerve activity, improve vitamin absorption, required to maintain healthy immune system, and promote...
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