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Good fats, Bad fats: let`s draw the line.

Good fats, Bad fats: let`s draw the line.

When we look at fats we are often overwhelmed by the multiple categories involving their definition. In practical terms, we have to be able to distinguish among different categories of fats: the one with positive effects and the one with negative`s. To begin, let ‘s try to draw a line in between “good fats” and “bad fats”.

Bad fats are related to high level of Saturated fats and Trans-fats, both impacting on raising the level of Bad cholesterol "LHD" and increasing the risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases. 

American Health authorities set the limit of Saturated fats to 10% of the daily intake. The same applies in Italy by the the guidelines formulated by LARN Table and INRAN Institute, drawing value ranges between 7% and 10% of the daily intake.

Trans-fats or Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils are considered the most dangerous raising the bad cholesterol and lowering the good one. Food which contain transfats are even banned from being sold in country like Denmark, Switzerland, and Canada and some States and counties of USA (e.g. California, New York City, Baltimore, and Montgomery County).

On the other side, “good fats” are instead identified in Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats which drive positive effects on health.

Polyunsaturated fats have positive effect on the bad cholesterol, lowering it offsetting the role of Saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats, which brings essential “fat acids components”, such as Omega 3 and 6, take a role in basic human functions (also against aging) but paly a neutral role for bad cholesterol.

Overall in our daily nutrition, it is important to avoid eating food with presence of Trans-fats and understand the items with high level of Saturated fats. Secondly we have to take control on the total amount of Saturated fats we daily intake, monitoring that we do not pass the threshold of 10% of daily intake (about 22 gr of saturated fats per day - 200 Kcal - considering a daily diet of 2000 Kcal).