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What to Know About Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fat

By Stepy Kamei

In some ways, the conversation around nutrition has become somewhat simplified -- and this may not necessarily be a good thing. For instance, most people associate fat in food to be a bad thing. The reality is that the human body does need some fat in the diet in order to convert it into energy, or absorb nutrients and minerals. However, there are different types of fat found in your local grocery store -- and the key to your health is knowing which fat benefits your well-being, and which fat can actually be harmful. Keep on reading to learn more about the crucial differences between saturated and unsaturated fat.

The 'Good' Fat - Unsaturated Fat

You may not be used to seeing the words "good" and "fat" in the same sentence, but it's important to know how fat can benefit your health. The body does need some fat from the food you eat, as it converts this fat into energy during the digestive process. It's important to keep in mind that, eaten at healthy quantities, these healthy fats do not necessarily contribute to weight gain since they are being primarily used as fuel for the body.

You can find "good" fats in more than a few natural food sources. Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are a great source of healthy fat. Unsalted nuts, avocadoes, chia seeds, and nut butters can also provide healthy fats.

The 'Bad' Fat - Saturated Fat

Meanwhile, there are plenty of sources of unhealthy fats as well. These are usually found in processed foods with added sugar and salt. Fast food, cookies, candy, soda, and chips are just a few of the classic sources of "bad" fat. These foods offer little to no nutritional value, and can easily encourage weight gain, inflammation in the joints, and decreased energy, among many other health issues.

The Ugly Truth About Low-fat Foods

It's also important to know what low-fat foods really encompass. You may be thinking it's a good idea to stock up on foods with a "low-fat" label on them, but unfortunately, this isn't the case. Low-fat foods do indeed have less saturated fats. However, this also strips those foods of taste, so they are loaded with sugar in order to make them appetizing again.

Your best bet is to stick with wholesome, natural ingredients, as much as possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, and beans provide healthy fats, among many other nutritional benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Durham, N.C.

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