Just the Facts (on Fats)

February 10, 2012 at 10:20 am | Posted in Heart Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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MGH Hypertension Blog

Olive Oil. Photo credit: Thomas Lobker

Remember the big “low-fat craze” of the 1990’s?  It seemed like every magazine was proclaiming the dangers of fat in the diet, no-fat diet books filled the bookstores, and supermarkets began carrying a variety of fat-free chips and cookies.  All of this was based around the idea that fat is bad for you, and eating healthy meant avoiding it whenever possible.  When you consider that high fat diets are linked to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s understandable how this craze could catch on.  But the truth is we need some fat in our diet.

 Fat is used to build and maintain cell membranes and is crucial for the body to absorb certain vitamins (such as Vitamins A and D).  And, like carbohydrate and protein, fat is used as a source of energy.  However, not all fats are the same.  While some types…

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