Should Fats Be Really Avoided?

[Italian Version Below; English translation of pictures provided in the tagline]

 

Many people automatically think of the word “Fat” as something negative and unhealthy for us, but there are some fats that are actually called “healthy fats”. Most types of food have some fats (some more, some less) and not necessarily these are harmful, obviously if assimilated in non-excessive quantities.

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5 Golden Rules to Assimilate Fats Correctly: 1) reduce fats consumed to 30% of the total calories in your diet; 2) Mainly use extra virgin olive oil; 3) Avoide margarine and other vegetable fats; 4) Consume fats raw and not cooked at high temperatures; 5) eat more often fish and with respect to meat, go for the low fat one, taking out visible fat when possible.

Fats can be found in two forms: saturated and un-saturated.

Saturated fats, also called “bad fats”, which are found in foodstuffs of animal origin such as butter, lard, cured meats, cheese, etc. favor the increase of cholesterol levels in blood. The kind of fat that should be avoided is the trans fat, a type of artificial fat that is found in junk food and in hydrogenated oil.

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Where can saturated fats be found: lamb, beef, pork meats, chicken skin, milk, cream, butter, fat cheeses, lard

 

Unsaturated fats instead, which are called “good fats”, are divided into two categories: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The former protect arteries by reducing bad cholesterol and are found in foodstuffs of vegetal origin such as extra virgin olive oil and almonds.

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Where can unsaturated fats be found: cold-pressed vegetable oil (sunflower, coconut, olive and sesame oil); nuts (peanuts, nuts, sesame, pecan nuts, etc.)

 

Polyunsaturated fats are also called essential fats because our body is not able to produce them by itself (omega 3 and omega 6), but they are necessary for its functioning. Therefore, they need to be necessarily assimilated through the diet and are present in food such as fish and nuts.

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Besides chosing the right food with the right fats, what is also very important is the point to which you cook the food. Generally it is always better to dress foods with crude extra virgin olive oil or to cook it for a short time and at low temperatures because high temperatures will alter the fats’ molecular structure thus producing residual particles that are toxic for our body.

Fundamental to our organism, fats must never be eliminated from our diet. They should represent about 25%-30% of the daily energy supply we get from food, of which the greatest part should be unsaturated.

Angelo Catalano

 

 

Grassi Buoni Contro Grassi Cattivi

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Molte persone vedono la parola grasso e automaticamente pensano sia negativo per noi, ma ci sono anche alcuni grassi chiamati“grassi sani”. Quasi tutti i cibi hanno dei grassi (chi più, chi meno) e non necessariamente sono dannosi, ovviamente se non assunti in quantità eccessive.

I grassi si trovano in due forme, saturi e insaturi:

I grassi saturi, detti “grassi cattivi”, che si trovano negli alimenti di origine animale come burro, strutto, insaccati, formaggi etc. contribuiscono a favorire l’aumento del livello di colesterolo nel sangue. Il tipo di grasso che si dovrebbe evitare sono i grassi trans, un tipo di grassi artificiali che si trovano nel cibo spazzatura o negli oli idrogenati.

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I grassi insaturi invece, detti “grassi buoni”, si dividono in due categorie, monoinsaturi e polinsaturi. I primi proteggono le arterie dato che provocano la diminuzione del colesterolo cattivo e li troviamo presenti in alimenti di origine vegetale quali olio extra vergine d’oliva e mandorle.

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I polinsaturi sono detti anche grassi essenziali perché il nostro organismo non è in grado di produrli da solo (Omega 3 e Omega 6), ma  sono indispensabili per il suo funzionamento. Vanno quindi introdotti necessariamente con la dieta e sono presenti in alimenti come pesce e noci.

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Oltre alla scelta degli alimenti e dei grassi è molto importante anche la cottura. In generale è sempre meglio condire a crudo con olio extravergine di oliva e fare cotture brevi a basse temperature poiché alte temperature alterano la struttura molecolare dei grassi producendo dei residui tossici per il nostro organismo.

Indispensabili per il nostro organismo, i grassi non devono mai essere eliminati dall’alimentazione. Essi devono rappresentare circa il 25%-30% dell’apporto energetico quotidiano di cui la maggior parte insaturi.

Angelo Catalano

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