Friday, 22 November 2013

Heart Diseases - Fat : Friend Or Foe?

Heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease. It is caused by uncontrolled diet that is high in saturated and trans fat resulting in arteries being clogged up by bad cholesterol LDL and the inner lining of blood vessels being damaged,impeding the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart. The general public has always had a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "fat". For them "fat" is bad for your health, causing things like heart diseases and making you overweight. In fact, fat plays an important role in your daily health, if you how to choose the right kind of fat to be included in your daily diets. In this article, we will discuss 4 types of fat and whether or not they are friend or foe.

1. Saturated fat
Saturated fats have a chemical makeup in which the carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen atoms. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature. Eating saturated fats will increase both low density lipoprotein LDL (bad cholesterol) and high density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) levels. Therefore eating more saturated fat will cause cholesterol to clog up arteries. Limit your daily intake of no more than 7% calories will lessen the chance of heart disease. In fact saying that animal fats is the same as saturated fats is very misleading, as many animal fats are actually more than 50% unsaturated, and chicken fat is actually 70% unsaturated. Foods containing high saturated fat include meats, butter, whole milk, cheese, and coconut oil.

2. Trans fat
Trans fats are found naturally in some animal-based foods, but are also formed when liquid oils are made into semi-solid fats like shortening and hard margarine. Study shows that dietary saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Trans fats raise LDL and lower HDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart diseases and stroke. Foods containing high amounts of trans fat include margarine and vegetable shortening.

3. Monounsaturated fat
Monounsaturated fat is the healthiest type of fat. It helps to lower the bad cholesterol LDL and increase good cholesterol HDL, in some cases cleanses the bad cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels. Foods containing high amounts of monounsaturated fat include olive oil, peanut oil canola oil, and nuts.

4. Polyunsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled. Polyunsaturated fats can reduce both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in your blood, lowering the risk of heart disease. Foods containing high amounts of polyunsaturated fat include vegetable oils, corn, and sunflower. Be aware that too much of polyunsaturated fat might increase the risk of cancer.

By replacing your daily consumption of saturated and trans fat with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat or eating less saturated and trans fat, you are ensuring yourself healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure in result of lowering the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
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