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The truth about fats

Published 10:13am Friday, April 19, 2013

These fats are solid at room temperature and when refrigerated, so it stands to reason if these fats stay solid at moderate temperatures, they’ll stay solid in your blood stream too. Saturated fats also interfere with removal of cholesterol from the blood, and therefore play a role in raising blood LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Sources of these fats include animal products like beef, pork, cheese, butter, ice cream, and plant sources like coconut, and palm oils. The second type of fat, which is actually healthful is “monounsaturated” fat. These fats are liquid at room temperatures and semi-solid when refrigerated. Monounsaturated fats are heart healthy because they help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Olive oil is one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats. High consumption of olive oil in Mediterranean countries is believed to be one of the reasons these areas have lower levels of heart disease. Other sources of monounsaturated fats include peanut oil, rapeseed oil, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, avocado, and sesame seeds. The third type of fats is polyunsaturated fats. These too, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats also provide beneficial omega-6 and omega 3 fatty acids. These fats are considered essential, because our bodies don’t produce them. We therefore must acquire them from our diet. Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and when refrigerated.

Good sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout. In fact we know that fish oil is liquid when refrigerated or cold water fish’s blood wouldn’t be able to flow. While these fats are beneficial, there is evidence too much polyunsaturated fat in the diet can lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels.  Use these tips to choose the right fats for better health.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 26 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team and the Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.  

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