In the nutritional and marketing world, we’ve reached a point where we don’t know what to believe anymore. Is Butter better? Is it the year of the Almond Butter?
One thing is clear. With butter, there is fat; some of it healthy, some of it… not really. Confusing isn’t it?
Let’s break it down for you.
Since a lot of you are deciding what works best for you, we’re giving you a simple fat-guide on what it all means.
Why do we need fats?
Contrary to belief – fats are actually ‘good’ for you, and when eaten as part of a healthy diet can aid in weight reduction and achieving optimal weight levels. They provide us with energy and when consumed in moderation, from the right source. (We ‘need’ only the ‘good fat’ . EFAs, MUFAs , Omega 3/6 and other unsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol, are essential for brain health, keeps your heart healthy. Also vitamins such as A, D, E and K are not water soluble and require fat to get transported and absorbed by the body organs.)
This indicates the total fat content of the product you’re consuming. The main fats you need to be concerned about are the trans-fat content and the saturated fat content.
Saturated fats fall under the “bad fats” category due to their links to increase in cholesterol levels; which ultimately lead up to heart diseases. These are usually found in dairy products, hydrogented oils, animal fats and processed meats. Consuming too much of this has a direct risk to your health and it is always better to opt for products with unsaturated fats in them.
Unsaturated Fat and mono unsaturated fat (MUFA)
Popular unsaturated fats are Omega 3 and 6 usually found in nuts, oily fish, avocado and vegetable oils. These are “Good” fats that your body actually needs on a daily basis to be healthy. It works the opposite of a saturated fat and it helps lower and control the cholesterol levels for a healthy heart.
More popularly known as Trans-fatty acids or TFA; this works just the same as saturated fats and increases the bad cholesterol. Not only that, it also lowers the levels of good cholesterol in our body and contributes towards an unhealthy body. Found in small traces in dairy products and meat. When vegetable oils are heated to a very high temperature trans-fats are formed; making industrial goods like pies, bakes, biscuits etc., very unhealthy.
Now let’s get to the real numbers:
So we’ve learnt that butter contains saturated fats, vegetable oils contain trans-fats and Nut-butters contain unsaturated fats!
They all taste great, they are all packed with some nutrients and benefits, but an overconsumption of the good fats definitely wins over consumption of the bad ones. So the next time you pick up your multi-grain bread and knife to fix yourself a snack; you know what spread to pick!