When it comes to fat, we’re not talking about macros or counting your fat intake. Fat consumption goes beyond simply macros, so we’re looking at actual health impact in terms of things like cholesterol and heart health. You’ve no doubt heard that things like olive oil and avocado are “good fats”, but a lot of us really don’t know what that means. These are monounsaturated fats, which lower our bad cholesterol. It’s why people in the Mediterranean region have very low rates of heart disease, despite eating high levels of fat (lots of olive oil). Polyunsaturated fats, the other “good” fat, are often found in the form of fish oil supplements in our industry. While the fat loss benefits are debatable, they’re great for your cholesterol, heart health, and aid in things like blood clotting and muscle movement.
Now, saturated fat. We don’t need to call it a “bad fat” necessarily, but it’s also not good. It’s somewhere in between. Why? Well, saturated fat in large quantities will negatively affect your cholesterol. However, it is found in many foods that have amazing health benefits overall, so moderation is key. You don’t need to cut coconut oil or coconut milk out of your diet because of the saturated fat, but you should avoid unnecessary and excessive saturated fat in deep fried and processed foods.
Trans fats are borderline evil. These are the types of fat that you want to keep out of your diet. The healthy fats we talked about above are typically liquid at room temperature. Hydrogenation is a process that turns these healthy liquids into solid in order to produce products with a long shelf life (and frankly make them delicious). Margarine is the best example of this, which is basically liquid vegetable oil turned into a solid. Trans fats not only raise bad cholesterol, but they lower your good cholesterol, and they have zero positive health benefits. So screw those guys.