Best Upper Body Workouts In The Gym
In general, the more solid a hydrogenated oil is, the more saturated or trans fats it contains. For example, stick margarines typically contain more saturated and trans fats than do tub or squeeze margarines. Small amounts of trans fatty acids are also found naturally in meat and milk.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils are not the only plant fats that contain saturated fats. Palm and coconut oils, although derived from plants, are also highly saturated. Yet fish oils, derived from an animal source, are rich in polyunsaturated fats.
Fats and Health Different types of fats have very different effects on health. Many studies have examined the effects of dietary fat intake on blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the form of trans fats have a detrimental effect on cardiovascular health. However, the role of dietary saturated fat and risk of certain forms of heart disease is not as clear, and the benefits of diets low in saturated fat may come from the higher amounts of polyunsaturated fats that these diets provide. In other words, scientists are still unraveling the effects of various kinds of dietary fats on health. What is clear is that trans fats should be avoided.
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Saturated and trans fatty acids raise blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol.
Unsaturated fatty acids lower LDL levels. Monounsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in olive and canola oils, may also increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, providing even greater benefits for heart health. In large amounts, trans fatty acids may lower HDL levels. Thus, to reduce the risk of heart disease, it is important to choose unsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats. (See Post 11 for more on cholesterol.)
Most Americans consume four-five times as much saturated fat as trans fat (8-10% versus 2% of total daily calories). However, health experts are particularly concerned about trans fats because of their double-negative effect on heart health they not only raise LDL but also lower HDL and because there is less public awareness of trans fats, although awareness is growing. Since 2006, federal law has required food labels to include trans fat content, and numerous states and cities have banned the use of trans fats in restaurant food. Consumers can also check for the presence of trans fats by examining a food’s ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening.
The best way to reduce saturated fat in your diet is to eat less meat and full-fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream). To lower trans fats, eat fewer deep-fried foods and baked goods made with hydrogenated vegetable oils (such as many kinds of crackers and cookies), use liquid oils for cooking, and favor tub or squeeze margarines over stick margarines. Remember: The softer or more liquid a fat is, the less saturated and trans fat it is likely to contain.
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