Not ALL fats are bad: Consuming good fats can actually prevent stroke

Fat has become the enemy over the past few decades. These days, foods proudly proclaim their low-fat status on their packaging, acting as though they’re “health food” even if they’re devoid of nutrients and full of other chemicals that make up for the flavor lost by removing fat.

While there’s no doubt that obesity is extremely dangerous and something that should be actively avoided, giving up food like cheese and butter isn’t the right approach. Some people think that eating more fat makes you fatter, but science shows otherwise; it all depends on the fats you eat. In fact, a recent study shows that consuming whole dairy products can actually prevent strokes, and it can even give your weight loss efforts a boost.

Picture the dairy aisle of your local supermarket. There’s no shortage of low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk, right? In fact, you can usually find more so-called “butter alternatives” then true butter in dairy cases these days. However, heart disease continues to plague humanity and Americans are fatter than ever, and there’s one big reason: Researchers say that cutting out good fats it actually working against us. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has concluded that there is no significant link between dairy fats and heart disease, stroke, and death. As a matter of fact, they found that consuming certain kinds of dairy fat can protect against severe stroke.

In the study, researchers evaluated the relationship between various biomarkers of fatty acids found in dairy fat with heart disease and mortality. They looked at almost 3,000 adults aged 65 and older and measured their plasma levels at various points over the course of 22 years. They determined that while none of the fatty acid tapes tested were linked to total mortality, one type was actually linked to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease death. Moreover, those with higher fatty acid levels, which indicates higher whole-fat dairy consumption, had a remarkable 42 percent reduced risk of dying from stroke.

The researchers also point out that many low-fat dairy foods have a higher amount of added sugar to improve their taste; this can lead to poor metabolic and cardiovascular health. The researchers called for a revision to the current dietary guidance regarding whole-fat dairy foods and expressed concerns the people are missing out on this rich source of nutrients like potassium and calcium. In fact, this misinformed approach of avoiding fats at all costs could be one reason behind the current prevalence of osteoporosis.

Not all fats are as healthy as dairy fats

Although dairy fats aren’t quite the killers they’ve been made out to be, you do still need to look out for trans fat. Found in processed foods and fast food, this type of fat is widely regarded as worst type you can consume. It raises LDL, the “bad” type of cholesterol, leading to insulin resistance and inflammation and raising your risk of type 2 diabetes. The hydrogenation process that turns healthy oils into solids and stops them from going rancid is what makes these fats so bad.

In addition to dairy fats, you can get good fats from vegetables, fish, seeds and nuts. Experts like nutritionist Ritesh Bawri suggest these foods can also help you drop a few pounds. He said: “It is advisable to include good fats in your diet as it helps in weight loss. Good quality fat such as ghee or avocado can help you lose weight. The good fat makes you feel full and reduces craving for other food.”

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