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Fats, Good Bad

By Ruth Bird

Fats, The Good"The Bad and Omega 3.

This has become a hot topic lately. There is so much talk of fats, the healthy fats, the bad fats, the trans fats. I have done some research on fats, trying to keep it simple for us. Here is some important information I have come up with. Omega 3 has become a favorite topic of mine. It has such amazing health improvement qualities. Remember, this is for your information only, and not meant as gospel nor is it meant for diagnostic purposes.

Saturated fats

Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake to 7"10 percent of total calories (or less) each day. If you have coronary heart disease or your LDL cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater, your doctor should recommend the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Diet. It recommends 25"35 percent of calories from fat, with less than 7 percent coming from saturated fat. Cholesterol is limited to less than 200 milligrams a day.

Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animals and some plants.

Foods from animals - These include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole milk. These foods also contain dietary cholesterol.

Foods from plants - These include coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter.

Hydrogenated fats

During food processing, fats may undergo a chemical process called hydrogenation. This is common in margarine and shortening. These fats also raise blood cholesterol. Use hydrogenated fats only if they contain no more than two grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. The saturated fat content of most margarines and spreads is printed on the package or Nutrition Facts label.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats - Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the two unsaturated fats. They're found primarily in oils from plants.

Polyunsaturated fats - These include safflower, sesame and sunflower seeds, corn and soybeans, many nuts and seeds, and their oils.

Monounsaturated fats - These include canola, olive and peanut oils, and avocados.

Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help lower your blood cholesterol level when you use them in place of saturated fats in your diet. But a moderate intake of all types of fat is best. Use polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils - and margarines and spreads made from them - in limited amounts. This is recommended in place of using fats with a high saturated fat content, such as butter, lard or hydrogenated shortenings.

Since their discovery in the 1970s, the omega-3 essential fatty acids have generated thousands of studies and clinical trials. Essential to life and good health, they protect against disease and can treat illness.

Dr. Barry Sears is a research scientist and creator of the world famous Zone Diet. His most recent book, The OmegaRx Zone - The Miracle of the New High-Dose Fish Oil, is the culmination of 20 years of research on the benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil. In fact, Dr. Sears pioneered the development of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil, a highly refined nutritional supplement rich in DHA and EPA. This work continues his life long dedication to using diet to help people maintain their state of wellness.

Yet few people understand what they are, what they do.

When it comes to heart disease, prevention is your best bet. High blood pressure and hypertension put undue stress on the heart, blood vessels and other organs. A person can get excellent heart health through a variety of ways, especially through a good diet.

Certain foods have been shown to be healthy for the heart. Fish has the proven benefits of omega-3 oil. Omega-3 may lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and reduce the cohesion of blood cells, which make them less likely to form clots and block arteries. Omega-3 seems to be particularly beneficial to people already at risk for heart disease and those who have experienced a heart attack.

Olive oil is a healthy choice over other fats such as butter, palm and coconut oils because olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that does not increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides

The following information on trans fatty acids is Information from the Food and Drug Administration

Q: What are trans fatty acids?

A: Trans fatty acids (or "trans fat") are fats found in foods such as vegetable shortening, some margarines, crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, salad dressings, and many processed foods.

*-additional information from me: Fats that are artificially created through a chemical process of the hydrogenation of oils. This solidifies the oil and limits the body's ability to regulate cholesterol. These fats are considered to be the most harmful to one's health. The Federal Drug Administration has mandated that the amount of trans fats be labeled on food products by 2005.

Q: Why should We care about trans fat?

A: It's important to know about trans fat because there is a direct, proven relationship between diets high in trans fat content and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and, therefore, and increased risk of coronary heart disease - a leading cause of death in the US.

Q: Aren't all fats bad?

A: No. There are "good" fats and "bad" ones, just like there's good and bad blood cholesterol. Saturated fats and trans fat have bad effects on cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats and monosaturated fats (such as olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and corn oil) have good effects.

Q: How much trans fat is too much?

A: There is research currently under way to determine this. However, it is true and accurate to say that the less saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol consumed the better. Trans fat while pervasive in many of the foods we eat is not "essential" to any healthy diet.

Q: How can consumers know if a product contains trans fat if it's not identified on the nutrition label?

A: Consumers can know if a food contains trans fat by looking at the ingredient list on the food label. If the ingredient list includes the words "shortening," "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" or "hydrogenated vegetable oil," the food contains trans fat. Because ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance, smaller amounts are present when the ingredient is close to the end of the list.

Q: Do restaurants have to list the fat content of their foods?

A: No. But it's a good tip to always ask which fats are being used to prepare the food you order. (I read in the rumour mill that Restaurants in New York are being asked to voluntarily cut down on their trans fat usage* my own comments)

Q: Why is it important to read labels?

A: Labels provide valuable information. An informed consumer is able to make better, healthier choices.

"The American Heart Association recommends healthy people eat omega-3 fatty acids from fish and plant sources to protect their hearts. Have you heard of this miracle?

OmegaRx Fish Oil, quoted as being close to a Medical Miracle in our Century! Omega 3, The Good Fat, Is on your side, they contribute to your good health. They are also a big part of Dr Barry Sears Zone Diet.

Omega-3 (you may sometimes see it written as n-3 or w-3) is the name given to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The parent omega-3 - alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) - is described as 'essential' as, like vitamins, it must be obtained from diet. It is polyunsaturated and has 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds (18:3).

There is no doubt that the omega-3 fatty acids are essential to health.

Omega-3 oils -- found in fatty fish, like salmon and tuna -- help lower blood pressure, fight heart disease and even battle depression....

Omega-3 fatty acids work against depression. Recent studies suggested that consuming omega-3 rich foods such as oily fish can help prevent depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have already been found to offer a myriad benefits to human health. Notably, intake of omega-3 fatty acids or use of oily fish reduces the cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are found richly in oily fish such as salmon fish and tuna. Plant sources such as flaxseed oil and canola oil also offer certain amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids or oil can be purchased as nutrient supplements.

There is no doubt that the omega-3 fatty acids are essential to health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure any disease.

It is very definitely to your advantage to study further the wonderful benefits of Omega3.

About The Author
Ruth Bird

People and Pet health care, are of great concern to me.

My name is Ruth Bird and my three dogs are, Dukie, Benny and Nikki. I also have a husband, Chris.

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