According to the British Heart Foundation, 21 % of women and 17 % of men are obese, while 32 % of women and 46% of men are overweight; a situation that has been caused by the kind of health lifestyles that people have adopted. Due to this, researchers have led to the conclusion that a healthy diet begins not only by knowing what to eat but also how to eat it since the food one eats ultimately has a way of affecting one’s health. For example, a diet that has a high content of fats and cholesterol may contribute to an accumulation of fats in ones arteries thus cutting down flow of blood and blocking the arteries. Consequently, one may end up suffering from heart attack or stroke. Being the case, does this mean that people should abandon fats from altogether?
There are two types of fats; good fats and bad fats. Good fats include monounsaturated fats which are found in peanut, canola, olive oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados, polysaturated fats which are derived from soybean oils, sunflower and corn, polysaturated fat which are obtained from soybean oils, sunflower and corn oils) and omega-3 essential fatty acids usually found in flax seeds, beans, fatty fish and walnuts. Bad fats include saturated fats which are contained in full fat dairy products like cheese, ice-cream, butter, red meant, dark meat,. Other examples of bad fat are trans fats; usually found in fried foods, commercial baked goods and foods containing hydrogenated oils. Also in the list of bad oils are damaged fats which are usually oils that have turned stale due to exposure to heat, air or light.
The American Heart Association offers guidelines on the recommended fat intake for a person. For instance, the Association recommends that the most efficient way to reduce trans-fat and saturated fat in one’s diet is to cut down on the amount of solid fats which include butter, shortening and margarine. Consequently, people are advised to use alternative low-fats instead. Should one need to top baked foods, one is advised to use low fat yoghurt rather than butter or to use fruits with low sugar instead of margarine. The other recommendation offered by the Association is for people to stay away from chips, cookies and crackers, which are known to contain harmful transfats and to use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as these help lower blood cholesterol. Should one need to use saturated fats, then one should ensure that they use less than 7% of the total daily calories.
In order to cut down on fats and ensure a healthy diet, it is advisable to bake, steam or stew foods rather than fry them. It is further advisable that one eats more fruits and vegetables and eats less fast food, which contains high cholesterol levels. In sum, fats are not entirely dangerous to one’s health. However, one must take care and ensure to eat less of them as this is what will lead to a healthy diet.