Knowing Your Fats, Part 2: Fats to Watch Out For

Now that we've covered some of the more beneficial fats that you should be including in your diet, let's take a look at the more common fats that you will want to cut out, as well as fats that may be questionable. There is still a great deal of debate and research on this subject.

Trans fats

Generally considered to be the very worst fat that you can get in your diet, trans fat are naturally uncommon in any food. Their main point of origin in the modern diet is from food production and manufacturing, wherein certain unsaturated fats are hydrogenated to create a saturated fat chain. This process gives food producers a more “workable” form of fat that has become popular due to its inexpensive nature.

You will most likely find trans fats in:

  • Fast food. The fast food industry has recently taken on the challenge of limiting, or even eliminating, trans fats from their offerings, but it's still a front that requires a lot of work. Trans fats are used in any product which is fried, and often used in both meat and bread production. In other words, the combo meal you purchase could be loaded with it in every item.
  • Margarine. Certain margarine products are bigger offenders than others. Margarine that is sold in a tub is less likely to have it. Margarine itself is made from vegetable oils, and began life in the consumer market as an affordable alternative to the more expensive dairy-based butter. In the modern market, it continues to be a popular food item, but always read the label on trans fat amounts.
  • Candy. Trans fat is used for its malleability, which makes it the perfect replacement for costlier fats in the production of low quality chocolate bars and other forms of candy. Cookies are also potential sources of trans fats. Again, reading the label is important if you're looking for that occasional fix for your sweet tooth.

On Saturated Fats:

In moderation, saturated fats actually have a great deal of benefit for strength training. Considering that some of the best foods for strength include:

  • Eggs.
  • Beef, pork, and most red meat.
  • Milk.

It's hard to say that you should cut saturated fat out of your diet. In fact, saturated fats help to build muscle mass, and even work to boost your testosterone levels.

As with all things, you should consume saturated fats within some manner of moderation. Grass-fed products, such as beef, butter, and milk, are all recommended as your source of saturated fats, as they can also include omega-3 fatty acids.