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Good and Bad Fats

Problem: Bad Fats

Modern living has brought us all kinds of conveniences. But one of those could slowly be killing you. Many processed and fast foods are made with something called trans fats (or trans fatty acids). Trans fats are created through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and more versatile in the creation of prepackaged foods (chips, crackers, etc.), fast foods, and margarine. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils.”1

While trans fats are inexpensive, easily produced, and add flavor, texture, and longer shelf life to your favorite foods, they also expose your body to unnecessary dangers. Trans fats have been shown to raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and developing type 2 diabetes.2

Another bad fat Americans get too much of is saturated fat. This fat comes from meat, dairy, and other animal products. Too much saturated fat also raises LDL cholesterol levels in the body.

But our bodies need fat to function at an optimal level. As one of the three nutrients that supply calories to the body (the other two are carbohydrates and protein), fat is a necessary and important energy source, and helps maintain healthy skin and hair. It also helps the body absorb and move certain vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, through the bloodstream.3

How can we get the benefits of fat without hurting our bodies with trans and saturated fats?