Should you eat fat to lose weight and stay healthy? Most of us would like to carry around fewer pounds, especially around our mid-section and it’s proven that maintaining a healthy weight adds years to our life. So what are the fast facts about “fats” that can help us cut to the chase to learn more about what fats could be helpful in even losing some extra pounds, and which ones we should be avoiding. The bottom line on fats is that it’s not only the quantity of fat that you consume, but the type. Let’s help you with some additional information about the types of fats and a little more background about how fat works in our system.

hamburger friesWhat Are Fats:

Fats are substances that contain fatty acids and fat is used in the body to store energy. The fatty acids are building blocks of fat. Carbon and hydrogen atoms make up the chemical composition of fats. Back in earlier times when there were periods during the year where food was not plentiful our bodies needed to store energy or fat in order to survive. In this day and age with fast food places on every corner and grocery stores that tempt us with delightful displays and scents and smells, it is no wonder that we consume more than we need and subsequently store more fat generally than is healthy for our bodies.

There are three main types of fats (or fatty acids) as they are called:

In this first article we will talk about #1) Saturated Fat

1. Saturated Fat Facts – This type of fat has the highest number of hydrogen atoms attached to every carbon atom. Thus, the fat is said to be “saturated” with hydrogen atoms. What does this mean to you?

There are harmful effects that eating saturated fat can have on your system.

a. Raising cholesterol
b. Increasing your risk of heart disease

In a healthy diet it is suggested that you liimit your consumption of satured fat no more than 6 percent of your total daily calories.

How do you know what foods Contain Saturated Fat?

Saturated fats are found in foods such as animal sources like dairy or meat products and examples would be: lamb, pork, fatty cuts of beef, skin on poultry, beef fat. Other examples are those products which are solid at room temperature: these include: butter, lard, cheese, and dairy products made from whole or reduced fat (2 percent milk). Other foods to watch for the level of saturated fat may include some baked goods or fried foods. Palm Oil and coconut oils are two types of plant based foods which contain primarily saturated fats but do not have any cholesterol.