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The Difference Between Good Fat and Bad Fat


An important aspect of dieting is cutting out fats, specifically saturated fat and trans fats. Saturated fat is commonly found in meat, eggs, dairy products, and most fats. They raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Trans fats include processed foods and hydrogenated oils, such as shortening and margarine, which contribute to artery clogs.

However, you must understand that there are certain fats that are actually good for our bodies, especially when it comes to losing weight. They are known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

The benefits of EFAs include the following:

  • Provide energy to the body, especially the heart.
  • Instrumental to creating healthy cell membranes, nerve cells and hormones that help heal the body from pain and inflammation.
  • Help several bodily functions work properly, such as the brain, skin and hair.

EFAs are broken down into three categories: omega-3s, omega-6s, and omega-9s. We are going to focus on the first two, since they cannot be produced by the body (unlike omega-9s), which means that they can only be obtained by either food or supplements.

While it’s important to balance both of these omegas when dieting, the average American consumes about 20x as many omega-6s compared to omega-3s, which can be harmful for your body.

You can get omega-3s from the following foods:

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Soybean oil
  • Tuna
  • Walnuts

EFAs are absolutely important to a well-balanced diet and weight loss success. If you are missing out on their essential nutrients, you must eat more fish, take omega-3 supplements, or both.

Are you interested in learning more about our New Orleans weight loss programs and how we can help? Contact us today at (504) 475-9817 to schedule your complimentary weight loss consultation! We have clinics in Harvey, Covington, Metairie, and Prairieville.

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