/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: Good Fats Versus Bad Fats

Clean Convenient Cuisine

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Good Fats Versus Bad Fats

There's always a discrepancy between what constitutes a "good" fat versus a bad fat. Aren't all fats bad? No. Your body actually needs fat to burn fat, but there are definitely better fats than others. One gram of fat has 9 calories, compared to 4 calories for one carb and 4 calories for one gram of protein, making it the most calorie dense of the three.

Saturated fats are lipids you want to avoid at all costs. These fats raise bad cholesterol levels and show up in red meat, dairy, eggs and many oils, such as palm and palm kernel oil. These fats go directly to your fat cells and are the last thing you burn when exercising.

Trans fats are those fats that are found in many processed foods, so they can have a longer shelf life (always read the label and look for words like "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated"). You'll notice many products now say "trans fat" free. French fries are a prime example of trans fats.

Monounstaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol, help skin and hair, and are the fats you want. They show up in naturally occurring foods like avocado, walnuts, olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, and all omega 3 fatty acids. These types of fats actually promote weight loss, but the trick is to eat these foods in moderation.

For instance, you don't want to eat avocado, olive oil, peanut butter and salmon all in one day. Fat is still fat - get too much of it, even the bad fats - and you will store it.

Every individual is different, so pay attention to how much you get per meal. If you are trying to lose weight, you still need to get these healthy fats, but focus on nixing the processed fats, heavy foods, such as cream and butter and many foods made with excess oils. If you work out, try and skimp on the fat pre-workout (again, as it is the last thing you burn when exercising), instead focusing more on complex carbs and simple sugars, which will be the first thing you burn off. A banana is a perfect example.

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