Healthy Living: Busting 4 common fat myths

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It is important when making healthy choices, we are armed with the correct information.  Fat for example is complicated.  While many people believe fat in their daily diet is bad, nutritionist say, some fat is good for us.

"A lot of people have developed phobias for fat," said Holly Martindale, a registered dietitian.  "It comes from the fat free diet craze."

Martindale says fat is an essential nutrient for our health and we need some fat as part of our daily diets.

Another myth about fat is that it raises cholesterol.  That's complicated and not completely true, says Martindale.  HDL Cholesterol is the good kind that comes from 'healthy' fats like omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, avocado, or olive oils.  Those fats help build cells in our body and contribute to good cholesterol levels.  LDC cholesterol is considered the bad kind and can cause build-up in our arteries.  Items that raise LDL cholesterol can include saturated and trans fats like sugars and processed foods.

Some people believe eating fat causes people to gain weight.  Which can be true, but the reality is more complex.  Martindale says when healthy fats are included in part of a persons daily diet, it can help you feel fuller, longer, and lead to fewer calories.

Finally, Martindale says some people believe foods labeled fat free or no trans fats must be healthy.  That's not necessarily true.

"Foods labeled fat free often times are higher in sugar and salt because they're more processed, " said Martindale.

So the next time you're at the grocery store, remember there's more to fat than meets the eye.  Avocado, olive oils, nuts and lean fats that come from fish are fats you can love, and include in your daily diet.  Fats that are in cheese, creams, butter and processed meats should be eaten in moderation.  While they're okay, too many can increase your risk for heart disease.  The fats that we should limit or eliminate, according to the American Heart Association, include those in sweets, processed foods, artificial trans fat, anything with hydrogenated oils and tropical oils.

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