Are all fats and oils bad? Nope! But lots are…

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Fat. Even the word makes you feel fat. Did you know, though, that it’s important to get some fats in your system? Otherwise, your body might think its starving and will actually start holding on to your fat! Just like all things, though, they are best in “moderation” – a balanced amount. After all, fats can give you energy and help your body absorb vitamins A, E, D, and K. Even vegetables, like carrots and lettuce have some fat!

oil and vinegarWell, what about oils? You know, the greasy stuff you dip your bread in at restaurants. Well, did you know olive oil is better for you than butter, because butter has the nastiest fats – called “saturated” and “trans” fats. If you see those two words before “fat”, you’re in trouble! However, coconut oil, palm oil, and corn oil aren’t that great for you, so don’t just assume that the word “oil” means it’s going to be ok.

As for the bad fats, they have a type of cholesterol – LDL cholesterol – that can clog up your arteries with junk. Now, where do most Americans get their worst LDL cholesterol? Pizza and cheese! That’s because too much meat and dairy products are never good for you. Remember, it’s all about “moderation”. Some foods to definitely stay away from are doughnuts and French fries. Did you know if you had a doughnut for breakfast and large fries for lunch, you’ve just eaten FIVE times more of your daily allowance of bad fat? Terrible.

So, what are some more examples of good fat sources? Well, there’s this thing called “omega-3 fatty acid”, and fish are an excellent source of this. In particular, albacore tuna, salmon, and sardines can provide you with omega-3s. Don’t like fish? Don’t worry! You can also get this important fat from flaxseed, flax oil, canola oil, and soybean oil. Test your knowledge of oils and fats!