FAT- GOOD OR BAD?
It seems like the judge and jury are constantly arguing if fat is good or bad for you. One week fat is the worst thing for you and the next it's something people cannot get enough of. I look at fat with more of a Devil You Know kind of attitude. So let's break down this bad boy and see what your opinion is at the end!
One gram of fat contains nine calories, much more than his cousins protein and carbohydrates (four cals). This means that your body needs less fat than the others to do it's everyday job of keeping you alive. Fat is very important for burning energy and fueling everyday cells. Your organs convert fat for it's needs immediately and then stores the rest for later when there is too much. I know most of you are very annoyed at that word- stores. But, without those reserves you wouldn't be able to go over six hours without eating something. Your body only needs about 45 grams of fat a day (this is a rough estimate, but is different for everyone depending on height/weight), while it needs roughly 200 grams of carbohydrates and 70 grams of protein.
Now that you know that fat is used for fueling your body let's talk about the good and bad kinds of fat. There are high saturated fats and unsaturated fats (this is more complicated but let's focus on the simple things, shall we). High saturated fats are those that are a solid at room temperature- marbled brisket, coconut oil, cheese, and butter. Unsaturated fats are those that are in a liquid at room temperature- olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil (yes yes mostly oils).
I'm going to keep this very simple to explain why high saturated fats are bad for you. High saturated fats raise the bad cholesterol in your blood, which can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure issues, and high cholesterol. Adversely, eating unsaturated fats creates the good kind of cholesterol that can actually fight the bad cholesterol. Eating unsaturated fats can help to fight off heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Additionally, unsaturated fats can also contain healthy nutrients, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.
So, again, is fat good or bad? It's both. High saturated fat is bad and unsaturated fat is good. Foods with good fats are avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and peanut butter.