Types of Fats: Smart Fats vs Dumb Fats Article written by the Spencer Brothers on 7/28/2021. This post contains affiliate links, you can find out more in the disclaimer at the bottom of the blog.
What are Fats?
Fats are a compound found in plants and animals that are made up of triglycerides or other forms of fatty acids. Fats make up one of the three forms of macronutrients (usually shortened to Macro). Although fat has gotten a bad reputation over the years, fat can in fact be very nutritious for you, This is dependent on the type of fat you are consuming. If eaten in a healthy way, fat can provide clean energy for your body while also providing good heart health. Since the type if fat you eat is so important, let’s look into those now!
Types of Fats
In terms of fats, there are two major groups which get broken down into more detailed groups. These groups are Saturated Fats and Unsaturated fats. Let’s take a closer look at these two groups. In terms of calories, all fat consists of 9 calories per gram.
Unsaturated fats, mostly commonly called the good fats, are generally heart healthy and provide good energy as long as the source is clean. The recommended amount of unsaturated fats in an average diet is about 30% of your calories. If you are eating about 2000 calories a day, you should attempt to eat about 600 calories of unsaturated fat (Which is about 67 grams a day). The major sources of unsaturated fats are olive and avocado oils, eggs, most nuts and seeds, and seafood.
-Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats
Scientifically, there are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. Out of the 30% of calorie allotment for unsaturated fats, 10% (~22 grams) should be made up of polyunsaturated fats, while 20% (~44 grams) should be made up of monounsaturated fats. The major sources of Polyunsaturated fats are fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and corn oil. The major sources of Monounsaturated fats will be avocados, nuts, and most other healthy oils (Olive, Canola, etc).
Despite technically being unsaturated fats, trans fats are the absolute worst for human consumption. General guidance says it is best to strongly limits or eliminate trans fats from you diet. Trans fats can mostly be found in much fast food as well as baking mixes and quick snack foods. Even if a container claims to not have trans fats, it still actually may be in there. If you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list, it is best to pass on that product
Saturated fats are commonly considered the unhealthy fats if taken in large amounts. The general recommended amount of saturated fat is about 7% of your eating should be saturated fats. If you are eating about 2000 calories a day, you should attempt to eat less than 140 calories of saturated fat (Which is about 15 grams a day). The major sources of saturated fats would be dairy, fatty meats, and some nuts (Brazil, Macadamia, etc).
Smart fats vs dumb fats
Okay, so now that we’ve established the types of fats, let’s really dive into what we should eat lots of and what we should be wary of. Make sure to check out our visual guide to smart fats vs dumb fats below!
Almost all unsaturated fats (that aren’t trans fats) are considered to be smart fats. On top of this, well-sourced saturated fats that are not overly processed can also provide a heart healthy diet while also providing good energy to keep your body going throughout the day.
The biggest example of dumb fats is trans fats. This is the fat that has been described as effectively embalming fluid by Steven Masley in his book Smart Fat. This type of fat has been considered not consumable by humans. Even though many restaurants have stated to have stopped using them, many still do as well as highly processed foods in the grocery store. Also, poorly-sourced saturated fats, such as chemically raised meats and highly processed dairy, has been found to be linked to many heart diseases, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Thanks for reading our Types of Fats: Smart Fats vs Dumb Fats Article, If you are interested in learning more about fats, check out a few of the books below. Many of the ideas from this article came from Smart Fat
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