Some fats are good for you. Your body can't function without them. Those fats help you to absorb nutrients. You can even have a fat-intake deficiency, when you are not getting enough of them. Your skin will get dry and your hair will get brittle.
Other fats can be also bad for you. They increase the level of cholesterol in your blood, which clogs your arteries and can lead to a heart attack. Those fats also have a natural tendency to be easily transformed into a body fat, which tends to blow up your hips and totally eliminates your waist line.
The good news are - those two groups are not the same types of fats. So by cleverly picking fats from the first group for your diet, and by avoiding fats from the second group, you can stay healthy, slim, and enjoy your life to the tilt.
Well, easier said than done. When you are facing those endless product labels on shelves in a supermarket, no manufacturer will tell you that they are selling a bad type of fat. On the contrary, they all claim that their product is the most healthy and good for your body. They claim that they used good natural ingredients to make them.
But why would those manufacturers want to sell you bad fats in the first place? Don't they want to benefit their prospective consumers? That is precisely the point. They are first and foremost business people. They need to turn a profit, to benefit themselves before they can benefit their consumers. They can't do that, if their products will not have a long shelf life.
The basic facts are beyond arguments - all natural fats and oils, which are in the good group of fats, will get rancid in a short time without proper refrigeration. The manufacturers increase their product's shelf life tenfold and even hundredfold by putting them through a process called hydrogenation.
This is a process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oils in order to turn those oils into a more solid fat. Such solid fats are used in vegetable shortening, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, salad dressings, and many other processed foods.
The hydrogenation process produces saturated fats, which are known to increase risks of heart disease. The manufacturers are required now to disclose all saturated fats in their products. Since awareness of the risks associated with saturate fats consumption is wide spread lately, they know that such labeling will spell a kiss of death for their products.
Most manufacturers came up with a different solution - they subject their oils to a partially hydrogenating process. Such process produces only partially hydrogenated fats. The new term they label such products with - Trans Fat, which stands for trans fatty acid.
The new studies show that trans fat is actually worse for your heart than saturated fat. It raises the levels of bad cholesterol and lowers the levels of good cholesterol. Under the new FDA regulations, from the beginning of 2006 all food manufacturers will be required to list percentages of trans fats used in their products. Consumers will be able to find this information on food nutrition labels directly under the line for saturated fat.
How to know which fats to avoid ?
The good rule of thumb in deciding which processed foods you should avoid - if they can stay on a shelf for many months, their nutrition value is questionable. Check their expiration dates. Their long shelf life comes only after extensive processing, which limits their ability to interact with anything, including the elements within your own body.
Buy fresh natural fats and cold-pressed oils. Eat more fat fish and lean red meat. Cook your own food. That way you don't have to eat something that was prepared many months ago. This is not the healthy way nature intended your nourishment to be. So called "convenience" of deep-fried fast foods or preprocessed foods comes with a heavy price. Don't pay it.
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