Fats and carbohydrates – two macronutrients that people avoid like the plague when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle. More often than not, they don’t actually understand what they are and what affects they have on the human body. If you are trying to follow a low-fat, low-carb diet plan, you should make informed choices to ensure that you reach your health goals.
Let’s start with the two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are the fats you want to consume because they can help your body by improving blood cholesterol levels (lower risk of heart disease) as well as insulin and blood sugar levels (good for those with type 2 diabetes).
Some examples of food that contain good fats:
- Olive oil, safflower oil, corn oil etc.
- Salmon, tuna, trout, sardines etc.
- Natural Peanut Butter
We have hundreds of delicious and nutritious recipes that are full of good fats.
Where there are good guys, there are bad guys. There are two types of bad fats we have to be careful about consuming: saturated and trans fatty acids. Unlike the good fats mentioned above, they can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk for heart disease.
While some feel that limiting the amount of trans fat you ingest to 2g per day, others suggest eliminating it from your diet completely.
Some examples of food that contain bad fats:
- Poultry skin
- Beef, lamb, pork, veal
- Coconut oil and palm oil
- Microwave popcorn
- Cake mix
Just like fats, carbs can be good and bad. They can be separated into 3 categories: sugars, starches, and fiber. As a macronutrient, it cannot be created naturally and is needs to be obtained through diet.
To define carbs even further, we can classify them as either whole or refined.
Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain fiber that is naturally occurring in foods such as vegetables, legumes, and potatoes. Refined carbs are just the opposite, processed and stripped of natural fiber.
Examples include white rice, pasta, and fruit juices. It’s not hard to guess which one is good for you and which one isn’t.
If you consume too many bad carbs you will put yourself at a higher risk for health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Balanced Diet, Happy Body
Knowledge is power, and understanding which fats and which carbs are bad is essential in creating a healthy and successful low-fat, low-carb diet plan. People often view diets as restrictive, but the reality is there are still a large variety of food options that are tasty and great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.