There is no doubt that the obesity epidemic is one of the most troubling health issues affecting not only the United States, but most of the modern industrialized world. The number of those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure has skyrocketed in recent years, and all over the world people are starting to see their pants become tighter and tighter as they continue to rely on quick, convenient, and often unhealthy meals as their prime source of
Unfortunately, these diseases so closely correlated to diet and exercise don’t always have clear indicators. Diabetes symptoms are usually silent and only until someone passes out from a blood sugar crash do they find out they have diabetes.While symptoms of heart disease are often more apparent, most don’t realize that they have heart disease until they suffer from a stroke or heart attack.
To best combat these types of diseases, we need to use preventative care. Proper diet and exercise is a must. However, with so many diets floating around and new reports linking to the “Best Heart Foods For You” detailing different foods each time, most of us don’t understand what health food is any more. One of these types of food that has received much attention thanks to diets such as the Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet is fat.
What is a Good Fat?
There are several different types of fat that can be found in our everyday foods, and aside from certain oils, nearly all derive from animal products. Good fats are those that are unsaturated fats which help lower bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol. There are 2 main types of good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and both provide great benefits to your health. While monounsaturated fats are better for you, polyunsaturated are great because they are normally found in foods which are high in omega-3 fatty acids – an essential fatty acid we can’t produce ourselves.
Where Can I Find Good Fats?
Good fats come from a variety of food sources – not just animal products like other fats do. Great sources for good fats include:
- Cold-water fish
- Nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and almonds
- Olive oil
- Dark, leafy vegetables
What are Bad Fats?
Trans fats, which are often found in fried food and highly processed foods, such as cakes and doughnuts, are the worst types of fats and have been shown to raise bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are also bad for you, and are found in most dairy products. Although a few studies have suggested that some saturated fats, such as those found in coconut oil, are good for you, people are still advised to eat limited quantities or low fat options of such foods.
Eating a proper diet is the first step in preventing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and can greatly improve your overall quality of life if done right. There are several websites that provide great recipes such as this one and DiabeticConnect.com, that can help you get on the right track to a healthier you.