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Good Fats and Proteins

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Fat and protein: our two main sources for energy besides carbohydrates. So how much of each should we have while pregnant? It's simple: since all fats are bad and all proteins are good, never eat fats, always eat proteins. Right? Wrong!

 

There “good” and “bad” fats and some proteins are better than others. While both fats and proteins should make up a part of your diet, it's important to eat the right kind of each to make sure they count.

 

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are the “bad” ones. They increase cholesterol levels in the blood and should be limited and closely monitored in anyone's diet. Saturated fats come from butter, cheese, shortening, some margarine, and the fats in meat and poultry skin.

 

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are generally regarded as the healthier type of fat, and they are better when they replace saturated fats in the diet. There are two different types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both help with healthy skin and the development of body cells, along with other benefits. Both also contain Omega-3, the fatty acid which helps fight heart disease and other heart problems.

 

MonoSaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats have been shown to increase levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood, the "good" cholesterol that helps to prevent heart attacks. In moderation, monounsaturated fats can be a healthy part of your diet. Peanut butter and olive oil are particularly high in monounsaturated fat.

 

PolySaturated Fats

On the other hand, polyunsaturated fats are more likely to form free radicals and damage tissue. Polyunsaturated fat is found in high-fat fish such as salmon. Polyunsaturated fats are not necessarily bad for you, they just need to be monitored more closely than monounsaturated fats.

 

Protein

Protein is made up of 22 amino acids, which are the building blocks of your body. Nine of these, called essential amino acids, cannot be manufactured by our bodies and must be obtained from food. Protein is a must for your diet.

 

There are no neat categories to break proteins into; some are just healthier than others. Food items such as nuts, eggs, and some fish, are good options. Nuts are a great source of protein, and the fat content is unsaturated. Eggs are thought to cause high cholesterol, but an egg every day is fine to consume. Fish are also great sources of protein, but should be consumed in moderation, once or twice a week.


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