There is much confusion over which fats are good for us and which ones we seriously need to avoid. The first thing to put straight on this matter is that on no account should we cut out fats from our diet. What we do need to do is to cut out the fats that are of no use to us and in fact cause harm to the body.
Which fats are dangerous?
The obvious offenders are those used in fast food outlets for deep frying. These oils are usually the cheapest quality vegetable heated repeatedly to high temperatures. Such treatment of oils can cause the production of harmful carcinogens.
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Margarines of any kind are unnatural, manufactured fats made to resemble butter, and to achieve the consistency of butter (to make them solid at room temperature ). fats are subjected to a process that involves the hydrogenation of oils, invanably requiring unnaturally high temperatures to achieve results.
The third type of fat which we need to be cautious of is saturated fat, of which there are three kinds. Surprisingly, short and medium-chain saturated fats found in butter, coconut oil and palm kernel oil don’t clog the arteries. Long-cham saturated fats found in meat (and the hydrogenated fats mentioned above) are associated with clogging the arteries and increased risk of heart disease. This type of fat needs to be restricted or avoided, while saturated fats need to be kept to moderate levels.
Foods that contain naturally-occurring saturated fats, for example cheese, carry useful nutrients and provide usable energy. However, eating too much saturated fat of any kind can interfere with the many pathways that the fats we do need are involved with. Though moderate amounts will do little harm, we don’t actually need saturated fats for good health.