For years, we’ve been conditioned to think that fats is bad for us. We opted for everything low fat – mayo, milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese. But did this switch make us healthier? Not really, because we cut out the good fats too. Now there’s research being done to understand the impact of fats on our body and what’s good and what’s not. According to a recent study, whole dairy products such as full fat milk, cheese, butter may not increase risk of early death from heart disease or stroke. More nutritionists are encouraging consumption of good fats. This explains the popularity of diet fads such as keto and atkins.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found no significant link between dairy fats and cause of death or heart disease and stroke. In fact, certain types of dairy fat may help guard against having a severe stroke, researchers said. “Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults,” said Marcia Otto, assistant professor at University of Texas in the US.
Dr Aruna Kalra, gynaecologist and obstetrics surgeon, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram says that many recent studies have show that skimmed milk does not lower the risk compared to full fat milk. This confirms the hypothesis put forward by the recent study. “Percentage of cardiac disease risk is lowest with vegetable fat / polyunsaturated fat . Animal fat has highest risk of cardiac disease . And dairy fat either skimmed or full fat milk have comparable risk; so dairy lovers can enjoy full fat dairy products instead of skimmed,” she adds.
Understanding good fat and bad fat
When you eat foods that are rich in trans fat, it increases the harmful LDL cholesterol in our bloodstream. It can also lead to inflammation and insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Good fats come from vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish. It is different to saturated fats as it is usually liquid at room temperature. “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,” says nutritionist Ritesh Bawri.
Nutritionist Iram Zaidi suggests including good fats like avocado, salmon, dry fruits into your diet to reap the many benefits of good fats, according to The Hindustan Times.