Are fats really unhealthy?

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Does your weight-loss program focus on eliminating fats from the diet? If yes, you are not alone. So many people cut down their fat-intake to zero in order to reduce their weight. But fats, in spite of their bad reputation, are a vital nutrient required by the body. And just like vitamins and minerals a balanced diet must also include fats. For example, some vitamins are only soluble in fats. So if you don’t consume fats, you won’t get the benefits associated with those vitamins.

However, fat is calorie-dense. One gram of fat contains 9 calories whereas carbs and proteins contain 4 calories per gram. So your calorie intake due to fats is much more and to worsen the situation, all our favourite foods are rich in fats (fries, chocolate, ice cream etc.) And if you are not burning the number of calories that you consume, you might be contributing to your waistline.

Along with the amount, the type of the fat you are consuming also plays a vital role in your health. Fats are broadly classified into two – saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are the bad guys as they raise cholesterol levels, increasing the chance of heart diseases. They are also claimed to increase the risk of colon and prostate cancer. On the other hand, unsaturated fats are good for your heart. One such fat, Omega-3 fatty acid reduces the cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

But it is important to note that the calorie content is the same for both types of fats. So a healthy diet would include unsaturated fats in moderation for both the heart benefits and a slim waistline. At the same time, it shouldn’t have any room for the unhealthy saturated fats.

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