Saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated
At one time, everyone was up in arms about saturated fats and their health risk. When in fact, saturated fats on their own are fine, assuming you don’t have any already-existing health issues. The problem comes in the over abundance of saturated fats that leads to an increase in low LDL cholesterol. Good fats vs bad fats. See the difference.
Think of olive oil at room temperature compared to lard. Which is smoother and more permeable? Would you want to stuff your cells with lard? The olive oil, an unsaturated fat, works with your cells membranes to make them more flexible for nutrients to enter. Choose more poly and monounsaturated fats to maintain a healthy diet.
Saturated - found naturally in meats, cheese, butter, coconut oil, etc.
Polyunsaturated - occur in canola oil, peanuts, other nuts and seeds, fish oils
Monounsaturated - macadamia nuts, pistachios, almonds, avocados
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. You see it on the list of ingredients everywhere. Basically, somewhere in a factory, food companies have taken hydrogen and added it to unsaturated fats, making them saturated. Why does this matter? Trans fats have been shown to raise bad cholesterol and trigger inflammation.
Trans fats, however, take something that could have been good and manipulate it. Because of it’s unnatural nature, this type of saturated fat has the highest correlation with health risk.
Omega 6 vs Omega 3 - the next step
The difference between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-3’s lies in their chemical makeup. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of metabolism, yet humans lack the ability to make them. The modern Western diet is full of omega-6’s from vegetable and seed oils. While not necessarily bad by themselves, these omega-6’s compete for the same enzymes as omega-3’s. So when the diet is overwhelmed with one, there isn’t room for the other.
More important than the quantity of omega-6’s and 3’s is the ratio. If the ratio is about even, everyone can play fair and the body can function well. Unfortunately, most modern diets provide us with around a 15:1 ratio, heavily weighted towards 6’s. This imbalance has been connected to serious issues such as cancer, arthritis, asthma and more. By simply decreasing this ratio, the risk of illness dropped significantly. Even if you don’t think you have this problem, most packaged foods and dining areas cook with some kind of omega-6. Balance it out with a daily dose of avocados and fish oils.