Advertisement

Which fats are bad fats?

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
Family Medicine
Most of us are eating bad fats, namely refined oils and trans fats. Most American calories from fat come from refined vegetable oils, like soy bean oil, which is produced in huge quantities. Refined vegetable oil is in everything. It’s often turned into trans fats, although less so now, but it’s still in foods like salad dressings and any kind of baked and prepared foods. Refined vegetable oil  causes a lot of inflammation when you eat in those quantities.

Another bad fat is trans fats, which are also called shortening or hydrogenated fats. Again, they used to be in everything, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled them as not safe to eat or a non-grass substance. So, they are no longer going to be in our foods, but it’s going to take a while for them to get phased out.
Say no to bad fats, including:

- Cholesterol is found in meat, dairy, and egg yolks. Food cholesterol increases the blood cholesterol, adding to your risk of heart disease.
- Saturated fat comes from animal sources, whole milk dairy products, and some oils. Saturated fat is found in red meat, butter, cheeses, luncheon meats, cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and cream.
- Hydrogenated fat is made during a chemical process called hydrogenation, in which naturally unsaturated liquid oil changes into a solid and more saturated form. The greater the amount of hydrogenation, the more saturated the fat has become, which can raise your blood cholesterol levels.
- Trans fats are formed when unsaturated vegetable oils are hydrogenated to make them solid at room temperature (stick margarine). In the ongoing Nurses Health Study, researchers found that among 80,000 women aged 34 to 59, trans fats greatly increased the risk for coronary heart disease. In these findings, researchers reported each 2 percent increase in trans fat calories raised the woman’s coronary risk by 93 percent. Other high trans fat foods include fried foods, snack and fast food products, commercial breads, crackers, pastries, and many processed foods.
Diet for a Pain-Free Life: A Revolutionary Plan to Lose Weight, Stop Pain, Sleep Better and Feel Great in 21 Days, ADA...sound nutritional advice...do-able, delicious..a godsend to pain sufferers.

More About this Book

Diet for a Pain-Free Life: A Revolutionary Plan to Lose Weight, Stop Pain, Sleep Better and Feel Great in 21 Days, ADA...sound nutritional advice...do-able, delicious..a godsend to pain sufferers.

Do you wake up each morning aching with joint or muscle pain? Have you been trying to lose stubborn belly fat for years? Do you wish you could be active without pain medications? Look no further:...
Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Fats like corn oil and butter are actually a mix of various fatty acids. Fatty acids are building blocks of larger fat molecules, and whether they are “good” or “bad” depends on how they affect your health. The main categories of fatty acids are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. Saturated and trans fatty acids are considered “bad” fats, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are considered good fats. Butter, bacon and other foods that made the bad fats lists below are predominately composed of saturated or trans fatty acids. Saturated and trans fatty acids have a such a bad rap because in excess, they raise your risk for heart disease, erectile dysfunction, dementia, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. One way they do so is by promoting inflammation, a trigger to all these illnesses. Plus, they raise levels of low density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) contributing to clogged arteries. Trans fat also suppresses HDL, the “good” particles that whisk cholesterol out of the body. Saturated fat is the predominant fat in: Fatty cuts of beef, lamb and other red meat; fatty cuts of pork; hotdogs; sausages; bacon; pepperoni; cream; whole and 2% milk; butter; cheese; poultry skin; coconut and palm oils; and sweets made from some of these foods. Hydrogenated oil -- not partially hydrogenated -- is usually very high in saturated fat.
The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

More About this Book

The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Bad fats include:
  • Saturated Fats. Found in meats and dairy products, these fats will make you gain weight and clog your arteries. Bottom line: Limit saturated fat to lean sources like lean cuts of beef and low-fat dairy products. Aim for less than 5 g of saturated fat per serving. Less than 20 grams, or less than 30 percent of your daily allotment, should be from saturated and/or trans fats combined.
  • Trans Fats. These are fats that contain hydrogenated vegetable oil. They're the worst kinds of fat, and will stunt weight-loss effort. They're in all kinds of food— especially when long shelf life is important- from buttered popcorn and cookies to chips and margarine. Bottom line: Say no. Stay away from them the way you'd avoid highways on the day before Thanksgiving. Clog city.
YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

More About this Book

YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

For the first time in our history, scientists are uncovering astounding medical evidence about dieting -- and why so many of us struggle with our weight and the size of our waists. Now researchers...

Continue Learning about Fats and Weight Loss

Lose Weight by Adding the Right Fat
Lose Weight by Adding the Right Fat
Former San Diego Charger’s lineman Nick Hardwick retired from the National Football League and from his daily 5,000-plus calorie diet that included sa...
Read More
Should I avoid fat in my diet?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Of all the parts of the average diet that we’ve been told to avoid, it’s fats that have gotten b...
More Answers
How can low-fat foods prevent me from losing weight?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Many dieters fill their kitchens with foods branded as “low fat” -- but all too often that label...
More Answers
What Should I Know Before I Get Vanquish Fat Reduction Treatments?
What Should I Know Before I Get Vanquish Fat Reduction Treatments?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.