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The Skinny on Good Fats and Bad Fats: How both will affect your health

25 Jun
Meg is epicurious and has a strong passion for cooking healthy meals on a budget. Her passion for food and nutrition stems from a young age with exposure to cuisine from various cultures. Originally from New York, she moved to Tallahassee, Florida to receive a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics at the Florida State University. Upon graduating, She took one step further to become a nutrition blogger in the dietetics field. She is currently a graduate student studying Clinical Nutrition at the Florida State University with the intent of becoming a Registered Dietitian post-grad. She believes that food has a unique ability to bond people from around the world, to create new relationships, and to cement old friendships. She aims to share her nutrition knowledge with others and to encourage healthy lifestyles through fitness and nutrition.

Meg is epicurious and has a strong passion for cooking healthy meals on a budget. Her passion for food and nutrition stems from a young age with exposure to cuisine from various cultures. Originally from New York, she moved to Tallahassee, Florida to receive a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics at the Florida State University. Upon graduating, She took one step further to become a nutrition blogger in the dietetics field. She is currently a graduate student studying Clinical Nutrition at the Florida State University with the intent of becoming a Registered Dietitian post-grad. She believes that food has a unique ability to bond people from around the world, to create new relationships, and to cement old friendships. She aims to share her nutrition knowledge with others and to encourage healthy lifestyles through fitness and nutrition.

Meg Khan-Karen is a guest blogger for Layman’s Terms Media. Periodically she will post thoughtful articles about leading a healthy lifestyle on a budget. Check out her Facebook page Daily Fit Dish by MegKKFit  for nutritious recipes at a reasonable price. Also follow her on Twitter.

By: Meg Khan-Karen, Nutrition blogger

Diet trends come in waves. One decade we see the rejection of carbohydrates, and we shun animal products the next. Some of you reading this right now may remember the low fat craze of the 90’s–it was then that fat got a bad rep. The reputation has stuck so much that “fat” is now considered an insult.

Well, I’m here to tell you that fat is not bad for you. In fact, it’s necessary for our health and our well-being!

Let’s start with the basics. We often refer to fat molecules as “triglycerides” because a fat molecule consists of a glycerol “backbone” with three fatty acid chains attached. The fatty acid chains that makes up this fat molecule can either be saturated (meaning it is fully surrounded by hydrogen atoms) or it can be unsaturated meaning there are double bonds between the carbons and it is not fully surrounded by hydrogen atoms.

Here’s an example of the structural difference between a saturated fatty acid and an unsaturated fatty acid:

Credit: faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu

Credit: faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu

 Your body needs these fats to function on a daily basis. Not only do we acquire fat in our diet from plant and animal sources but we also make our own. The importance of fat in the body includes different functions including aiding in vitamin A,D, E, and K, the fat soluble vitamins.

Fats also aid in maintaining healthy metabolism, building strong hair, nails and smooth skin and cushioning our organs.  And, of course fats act as a readily available source of energy –whether you’re going for a long run or pushing through your daily routine. Continue reading

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