Good fats vs Bad fats: The truth

Good fats vs bad fats problem became more evident with the development of food industry and refining processes. Somewhere along the way, people also began to look at dietary fats as something evil.

However, this was mostly fueled by TV commercials advertising low fat foods. Because of it, some people went too far, by drastically reducing the amount of fats in their diet.

Don't get me wrong. Reducing the intake of dietary fats, especially the bad ones, closer to daily recommended amounts is good but going too far can be as bad as eating too much fatty foods.


Healthy diet consists of macro (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) and micro (vitamins, minerals) nutrients. Also, we can't forget the water.

You can look at it as a "formula" of a human health. If you remove something out from it, you can endanger your health. Even worse, the heart is one of the first organs to experience the consequences of your actions.

In this "formula", dietary fat has a huge role, since it is vital for many biological procesess that are happening inside the body:

  • Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, which means they require fats or lipids in order to be absorbed in the body
  • Body uses lipids as a source of energy when their is a lack of primary fuel for human body, carbohydrates
  • Helps protect vital organs and provides insulation from cold and heat
  • Lipids slow down digestion thereby preventing hunger for longer periods of time
  • Dietary fats are also a source of essential fatty acids which our body can't manufacture by itself
  • It is important for brain and heart health as well as for strong bones, immune system, healthy inflammation response, sugar control, healthy eyesight, skin and much more

    Fats are divided into good and bad. However, there are some types of fats, such as saturated fat which is labeled as bad but the truth is that it is actually good, when consumed in moderate amounts.

    All natural dietary sources of fats are part of healthy diet. Difference is only in quantity. Good types of fats should be consumed in greater amounts, while saturated fats should be consumed in smaller quantities, in order to get the most benefits from both of them.


    Good fats are unsaturated fats which includes monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These two have beneficial effect on cholesterol. They can lower LDL, while raising HDL cholesterol.

    Food sources of good dietary fats are peanuts, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, canola oil, fish, sunflower oil and even some fruits and vegetables such as avocado and soy.

    Red meat and dairy products can contain good fats but this mainly applies for grass fed cattle which is quite rare these days.


    When people talk about bad fats, they mainly think of saturated fat although it ain't that bad, if consumed in moderation.

    Sources of saturated fats includes meat and other animal products such as cheese, butter, cream, milk and eggs. Even some vegetable products such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil and chocolate contain substantial amounts of saturated fat.

    On the other hand a truly bad type of dietary fats are trans fats or hydrogenated fat. Trans fats are unhealthy, artificial, man-made fat which can be very harmful for the heart and negatively affect blood lipid profiles.

    Trans fats are great for business since they are very cheap. They also increase shelf life of processed foods, in the supermarkets, which again equals more money for the sellers. Trans fats decrease HDL cholesterol, while raising LDL cholesterol.

    As a result, diet rich in hydrogenated fat increases the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, especially atherosclerosis.

    Sources of trans fats are basically all processed foods such as cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, candies and fast foods.


    Dietary fats should count for approximately 20 to 30 percent of your daily macro nutrient intake that your body requires for optimal function and energy levels.

    This includes good fats and saturated fat. Remaining calories should come from carbohydrates, mainly complex ones and protein.


    To get the most from your diet, when it comes to good fats vs bad fats, consume sufficient amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats through seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, fish and some healthy oils.

    Control your intake of saturated fats, by staying away from dairy products and controlling your daily intake of meat and plant based sources of saturated fats.

    Also, avoid as much as possible or limit the amount of trans fats in your diet, by cutting down on processed foods you eat.

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