Good Fats, Bad Fats

Every one of our trillions of cells are made of fats and we can’t be alive without fats. Omega 3 fats from fish and tree nuts are healthy and protective, whereas omega 6 fats from vegetable oils and trans fats from hydrogenated oils are bad. The ratio between good fats and bad fats does matter a lot.

The Evidence

Healthy Nuts:

  • Consumption of nuts prevents metabolic syndrome: [O’Neil CE, Keast DR, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL. Out-of-hand nut consumption is associated with improved nutrient intake and health risk markers in US children and adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 Nutrition Research March 2012;32(3 ):185-194. Abstract | O’Neil CE, Keast DR, Nicklas TA, Fulgoni VL. Nut Consumption is Associated with Decreased Health Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Metabolic Syndrome in U.S. Adults: NHANES 1999–2004. J Am Coll Nutr. December 2011;30(6):502-510 Abstract]
  • Eating nuts may enhance mood. [See]
  • Nuts in Place of carbohydrates Helps Control Blood Sugar and Serum Lipids: Two ounces of nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrate foods improves both glycemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes.[Jenkins DJA. Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet. [Diabetes Care August 2011;34(8):1706-1711. Full text]
  • Eating nuts every day helps control Type 2 diabetes and prevent its complications: New research from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto has revealed that two ounces of nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrate foods improved both glycemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes. [Jenkins DJA. Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet. Diabetes Care June 29, 2011 doi: 10.2337/dc11-0338 Full Text | Report]
  • Almonds may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease: Studyshows that consuming an almond-enriched diet may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with prediabetes. [Michelle Wien et al. Almond Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adults with Prediabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2010;29(3):189-197. Abstract | Report]
  • A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study.  Fraser GE et al. Arch Int Med 1992;152(7):1416. [See]
  • Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians’ Health Study.  Albert CM et al. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:1382-1387. [See]
  • Nut consumption, vegetarian diets, ischemic heart disease risk, and all-cause mortality: evidence from epidemiologic studies. Sabaté J et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(3):500S-503S. [See]
  • Nuts and their bioactive constituents: effects on serum lipids and other factors that affect disease risk. Kris-Etherton PM et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(3):504S-511S. [See]

Trans Fats:

  • Consumption of Trans Fatty Acids Is Related to Plasma Biomarkers of Inflammation and Endothelial Dysfunction. Lopez-Garcia E. J. Nutr. 2005;135:562-566. [See]
  • Health effects of trans fatty acids.  Ascherio A, Willett WC. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:1006S-1010S. [See]
  • Trans fatty acid isomers in human health and in the food industry.  Valenzuela A, Morgado N. Biol. Res. Santiago 1999;32(4). doi: 10.4067/S0716-97601999000400007. [See]
  • Revealing trans fats. FDA.[See]

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