Let's talk about fat… | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


In keeping with our heart healthy month, what’s more important than (re)learning about the fats that can affect our pretty little hearts? Ladies and gent, It’s time to talk about fats!

We need fats in our diets. There is no getting around them, our bodies depend on them, without fats we are just plain and simple unable to survive. However when we eat nothing but large amounts of fats as most typical Americans do, it leads to not only weight gain but increased risk of heart disease as well.

Knowing which fats are good or bad for you can get quite confusing. So the all of us at the sisterhood want to make sure everyone is on the right track in when talking about fats. We’re keeping it simple now, good vs bad, but just know that you can always read up more here at the American Heart Association or more here.

Good Fats


Monounsaturated Fats– They lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Olive Oil is a perfect example.

Peanuts, walnuts, almonds,avocados, canola and olive oil are high in Monounsaturated fats. Nice fact:they have also been found to help in weight loss, particularly body fat!

Polyunsaturated Fats These also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. They also include essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself – such as omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-6 and omega-3 play a crucial role in brain function and in the normal growth and development of your body.

Seafood like salmon and fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils are high in polyunsaturated fats.

Bad Fats

Saturated – Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Don’t forget that many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats too.  Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats such as coconut oil.

Trans fat– (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.  Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oils.”

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.  Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.  It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Found in many commercially packaged foods, commercially fried food ( French Fries ),as well as in vegetable shortening and hard stick margarine.

How much fat in one day?

You should not eat more than 25–35 percent of the calories you eat in a given day from fat.

Based on a 2, 000 calorie diet the American Heart Association recommends the following:

Trans fats- no more than 20 calories or 2 grams of trans fat for one day.

Saturated-no more than 140 calories or 16 grams of saturated fat for one day.

There is a nifty little fat calculator here.

Not sure about everyone else but I’m off to use that fat calculator, how about you? Do you know how many good and bad fats are in your normal diet?  Read your food labels for one day, you just might be surprised to know that you may not eating the right fats.

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