Thursday, July 23, 2015

Say NO to Hydrogenated Fats!

You may have heard a lot about good and bad fats. An oversimplification of good versus bad fats is unsaturated and saturated fats, respectively. Unsaturated fats are the fats like oils and things that are not solid at room temperature. These fats are found in nuts, fish, and other healthy foods. The bad fats, saturated and trans fats, are found in forms like butter. Saturated fats have an extra hydrogen atom bonded to carbon chains. Fats tend to be hydrogenated and turned into solids to avoid rancidity.

So why is saturated and trans fat bad? As Harvard Health Publications at Harvard Medical School puts it, "Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions". Saturated fat is another diet criminal increasing your levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol which contributes to the clogging of arteries which prompts other health issues.

Why is unsaturated fat so much better? Unsaturated fats kind of do the opposite of their evil counterparts; eating more unsaturated fats can reduce your levels of bad cholesterol and therefore reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, etc. These fats are liquid at room temperature and can be found in foods like salmon, walnuts, etc.

It is still important to remember that any fats-good or bad-will be stored as extra fat on your body when consumed in excess. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION! But you should still try to replace good fats with hydrogenated fats whenever possible. One thing that I do to replace the bad with the good is to change up the peanut butter that I consume. Peanut butters like Jif and Skippy are extremely processed (hydrogenated and packed with sugar!). Opt for non-hydrogenated peanut butters easily found at your local grocery store for a delicious and easy way to help your heart and your waistline.

Below is a picture of the consistency of non-hydrogenated peanut butter (on the left) versus hydrogenated peanut butter (on the right).
Xoxo, Keely

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