What matters most when it comes to dietary fat is the kind of fat you consume. Newer research demonstrates that healthy fats are essential and beneficial for health, in contrast to earlier dietary advice that promoted low-fat diets.
When food producers cut back on fat, they frequently add carbohydrates from sugar, refined grains, or other starches to make up the difference. These starches and refined carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by our bodies, which can affect insulin and blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain and disease.
The Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study's findings demonstrate that there is no correlation between the overall percentage of calories from fat and any significant health outcome, such as cancer, heart disease, or weight gain. Instead of following a low-fat diet, it's more crucial to concentrate on consuming healthy "good" fats and avoiding harmful "bad" fats.
A balanced diet should include fat. Limit foods high in saturated fat, choose foods with "good" unsaturated fats, and stay away from foods high in "bad" trans fat.
- “Good” unsaturated fats - Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - lower disease risk. Vegetable oils (like olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn oils), nuts, seeds, and fish are among the foods high in healthy fats.
- “Bad” fats - trans fats - increase disease risk, even when eaten in small quantities. Trans fats are mostly found in processed foods that are made with partially hydrogenated oil trans fat. Thankfully, trans fats are no longer present in many of these foods.
While less harmful than trans fats, saturated fats still have a negative impact on health and are best consumed in moderation.
Red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream are a few examples of foods high in saturated fat. Saturated fats are also present in some plant-based fats, such as coconut and palm oils.
Replace refined carbohydrates with fish, beans, nuts, and healthy oils when you reduce your intake of foods like red meat and butter.