Ultimate Guide to Fats

A space-filling model of an unsaturated triglyceride.

Introduction To Dietary Fats

Read this for a quick introduction to dietary fats.

Saturated Fats

Are Saturated fats as dangerous as commonly thought? Can they be included comfortably in a diet?

Unsaturated Fats

Are unsaturated fats the guilt free fat? Are they the secret to longevity?

Omega 3’s

Are the fishy fats the savior we have been promised?

Cholesterol

We’ve been told that cholesterol is dangerous and can lead to an early death.  Is that the truth?

Trans Fats and Very Low Fat Diets

Are Trans Fats as dangerous as they are portrayed? Are low fat diets effective?

For any  and all of these it is always important to consider the science and not just the recommendations.  Nutrition is more nuanced than the recommendations make it seem.

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Introduction to Dietary Fats

Note: This article is more about technical basics than advice.  Read if you want to understand more about the underlying science.

One of the most confusing aspects of modern nutrition is fat.  The recommendations seem to be more liquid than the ocean, so trying to figure out what to do is exhausting and sometimes nearly impossible.  Walk into a store and you will see hundreds of items advertising themselves as “Fat-Free”, “Reduced Fat”, “Low Fat”, and “Fat removed”.  Looking at these it would be easy to assume that fats are dangerous and we must be incredibly careful with their consumption.  However, as with most things in life, the truth is more complicated than that.    Fats are one of the basic nutrients required for survival.  Fats are critically important to the maintenance of the myelin sheaths on nerves.  It is also critically important for certain vitamins as they are fat soluble, without enough fat certain vitamins cannot be processed (Mayo Clinic Staff).  Without fats there is an immediate decline in human health.  Knowing how important these fats are the movement towards a low fat diet seems a little perplexing.  However low fat advocates believe that because fat is high in calories it is easy for it to contribute to weight gain, and because excess weight causes significant health problems it is therefore important to limit fat (Mayo Clinic Staff).  In this first article in this series I am going to discuss some general classifications for fats.

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