There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding fats and all that we know about it. What does fat look like, and are all fats created equal? We know that it could be confusing when it comes to knowing which fact to believe. It was not long before that we have always thought that fat was all bad. But here we are, using these fats in cooking and all other stuff we do every day. Hurray for new things coming our way! You might be wondering why we have been told, for the longest time that fat is bad. Well, that’s because the events have transpired in the year 1950s in the US.
There has always been a war on fat, and the USDA or the United States Department of Agriculture has discouraged Americans from eating fats altogether. In the 1950s, there was a rise in the trends of those who have heart disease. Fats took the blame and were made the primary culprit. That was the beginning of why we were always on the misconception that all fats are bad. Because in truth and reality, fats are fats but not are created equal. In this article, we’ll answer what does fat looks like, and we will also explore examples citing why fats are not created equally.
The Science of Fats
We have already mentioned that there are many kinds of fat and there was a time in the history of American health, people were discouraged from eating any type of fat because it was pointed to as the reason for the growing cases of heart and cardiovascular diseases. In the year 1980, there was a guideline that educates people to only avoid full-fats like red meat, butter, eggs, and red meat. And this was the start of how low-fat alternatives became available in the market. Low-fat replacements and counterparts were made available for almost everything- from cookies to bread to milk. Think of something and we are pretty sure that there is a low-fat version of it. But what does fat look like?
In a utopian world, everything would have turned out well. But reality hits us hard in the face each time. The aim to become healthier and to avoid various diseases caused widespread obesity. The lack of fat in the low-fat alternatives compensated for more carbohydrates and refined sugar which was not anticipated. The reason as to why there has been an issue with this is because those who consume low-fat products would consume mainly simple carbohydrates which do not have enough vitamins and nutrients to sustain the body. The rise of this low-fat diet has been pointed as the main cause of early death and stroke at that time.
That is why as of today, it is recommended to eat in balance and get to know all the facts you will be consuming before making any drastic decisions to change your meal plans and patterns.
In general, fats play a vital role in one’s diet. It helps in the absorption of important vitamins and minerals and it also gives the body enough energy to do the things we’re supposed to do. Also, fat is one of the most important macronutrients next to carbohydrates and protein. Truth be told, the body cannot naturally produce essential fatty acids that’s why we need dietary fats to sustain it. Here are some of its roles in the body.
- Absorbs Vitamins. Those who do not get enough fat in their diet could have a deficiency with Vitamin A and D which are important for intestinal and other vitamin absorption.
- Balances Hormones. Testosterone and estrogen are produced because of the cholesterol we have in our bodies.
- Provides Energy. Among the macronutrients we have in our body, fat doubles the content of energy in the body.
- Aides Healthy Skin. Fat supports the cell membranes of the skin which is an anti-inflammatory agent and it provides moisture, too.
- Supports Cognitive Health. Fatty acids such as omega 6 and 3 cater to brain function. Inadequate fats could lead to diseases and impaired cognition.
What does Fat Look Like? Are Fats Created Equal?
We have already mentioned that not all fats are created equal because while it’s true that fats are needed for some of the major activities in the body, some fats need to be completely avoided if you are aiming for a better and healthier lifestyle. What does fat look like? Fats could be determined in three groups.
- Unsaturated Fats. These could be liquid when it’s at room temperature. Examples of these fats can be found in seeds, fish, nuts, and vegetables.
- Saturated Fats. These are solid when at room temperature and it is found in red meat, cheese, coconut oil, and whole fat milk.
- Trans Fat. There is an artificial kind of fat that could be found in processed foods like ice cream, pizza, and burgers.
From the three main fat groups, the worst kind of fat is trans-fat as it is one of the leading causes of many diseases like heart issues, diabetes, and high blood pressure- to name some. Saturated fats are branded as bad fat while unsaturated as good fat.
- Good Fat (Unsaturated)- These fats are proven to support better health and lower cholesterol levels.
- Bad Fat (Saturated)- There is a grey area in this as bad fats are called the in-between as it could be a source for good health minerals if taken in moderation.
Tips for More Healthy Fats in Diet
When deciding on which of the fat group should be consumed daily, these are the main things to remember:
- Trans-fat should be avoided at all costs
- Incorporate good fats in your diet daily
- Consume in moderation those that are bad fats or saturated fats for optimum health benefits.
What does fat look like? Some people would become obsessed with counting fat intake from time to time. Here are some of the tips that we could give for you so that you can incorporate and add more healthy options to your diet daily.
- Limit saturated fat intake but do not compensate it with sugary foods and refined carbohydrates.
- Eliminate trans-fat in your daily meal routine.
- Cook using olive oil.
- Try snacking on olives
- Avoid commercial salad dressings and make your own.
- Munch on nuts and fruits.
What does fat look like greatly, affects how we understand the fats that we consume and need every day. Although fat is food for the body, we must also assess if our diets are mostly good or bad fat- or worse, trans-fat. To sum it all up, it is best to follow a balanced, quality, and whole foods diet for a healthier you!