The Bad Fat - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson Heart Clinic

The Bad Fat

The Bad Fats:

The animal part of our diet is where most saturated or bad fat comes from.  This is the fat most responsible for clogged arteries and heart disease.  Fattier cuts of beef, pork, and the skin of poultry are big offenders.  Any visible fat on an animal is a source of saturated fat.  Since dairy foods also come from the animal world, they also contain a lot of saturated fat and need to be used carefully.  Whole milk, heavy cream, real butter, cheese, and ice cream should be considered as "the other red meat", as they originate in a cow and are therefore very high in saturated fat.  Plan to use low-fat or fat-free dairy whenever possible.

The other bad fat in our diet is trans fat.  This fat is especially troublesome because it not only raises bad cholesterol, but also lowers good cholesterol.  Small amounts of trans fat are found in many places in our manufactured food world.

Anything that contains partially hydrogenated oils has trans fat.  Packaged snack-type foods are full of it such as cookies, chips, crackers, and toaster snacks.  Most pre-made boxed meals and frozen dinners contain partially hydrogenated fats.  Read the ingredients list before you buy.

In addition, most deep-fat fried restaurant foods contain large amounts of trans fatty acids.  Foods such as French fries, fried chicken or nuggets, and doughnuts need to be on the "eaten rarely" list.  If you already have high cholesterol, you need to consider avoiding these foods all together.

Tips for choosing the best types of fat:

Limit fat but don't try to cut it out completely.  Focus on reducing foods high in saturated fat or trans fat, and select more foods made with unsaturated fats.  Consider these tips when making your choices:

  • Sauté with olive oil instead of butter
  • Use olive oil for salad dressings instead of the creamy types.  Use canola oil in baking.
  • Sprinkle slivered nuts or sunflower seeds on salads instead of bacon bits.
  • Snack on a small handful of nuts rather than potato chips or processed crackers.  Try natural peanut butter or other nut butters on celery, banana, apple slices, or whole grain breads.
  • Add slices of avocado, rather than cheese, to your sandwich.
  • Prepare fish instead of meat one to two times a week.
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