Not all fats are bad for you. While the unhealthy fats like saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can clog your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease, there are healthier fats like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that are needed by the body for proper functioning.
• Saturated Fat
These are mostly found in animal foods such as meat. Tropical oils like palm oil, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are also notorious saturated fats.
• Trans Fats
These are partially hydrogenated vegetable oil used in making many processed foods like cookies, snack foods, and crackers.
This is only in animal products like meats, dairy foods and eggs.
• Monounsaturated Fats
These fats stay liquid at room temperature but they solidify when refrigerated. Examples are canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil.
• Polyunsaturated Fat
These also stay liquid at room temperature. Examples are safflower, sunflower, and corn oils. These can also be found in seafood. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are common types of this fat.
To minimize unhealthy fats in your diet, here are some techniques that you would want to try.
• Replace fatty meat like poultry with chicken, processed meats, fried fish, fried chicken, spare ribs, and organ meat with low-fat ground beef, ground turkey breast without skin, baked fish, and skinless chicken.
• Prefer low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Low-fat or nonfat yogurt, egg substitutes, milk, and egg whites should be chosen over whole milk, cream cheese, ice cream, and nondairy creamer.
• Use healthy cooking oils such as canola oil, olive oil, and peanut oil. Stay away from coconut oil, palm oil, butter, lard, bacon fat, and stick margarine.
• Choose whole grain breads, cereals and pasta over those that made of butter as a major ingredient.
• Treat your sweet tooth with fresh fruit desserts. Stay away from those desserts like doughnuts, cookies, pies, and ice cream that are laden with fat.
• Use cooking methods that require the use of little or no fat. These include broiling, steaming and grilling. Cooking spray is much better to use than oil. If you want to use oil, use canola or olive oil.
• Trim the fat from the meat before cooking. Drain off the additional fat after you’ve finished cooking the meat.
• Chill stews and soups after cooking. This way, you can remove the fat that has gotten hard on top before you re-heat the food and eat it.
• Add ground flaxseed to your meals sich as your cereals and soups. Add a dash of chopped walnuts on your salads. This will up your intake of healthy fats.
• Read food labels on processed foods. Make sure that you choose only those that do not have any trans fats.
• In the restaurant, order foods that are broiled or poached. Don’t make it a habit to order fried items. More often than not, restaurants make use of hydrogenated oils for frying foods.