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When Bad is Good

<p>Now that it's the season of excess...</p>
| Dec 14, 2009
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A bad reputation is hard to shake. It sticks to you like a leech and no matter how hard you make up for it, the stain haunts you. [firstpara] This not only applies to people but also to some of the things we love most. Take for instance, fat—or, now that health buff has classified types of fat, saturated fat. It makes for some of the best-tasting meals around, but it's also convicted for clogging arteries and causing heart disease.

But studies have given way for reconsideration regarding the so-called artert clogging effect of saturated fat. Decades of studying the connection between blood lipids and cardiovascular disease led Ronald Krauss, MD, of the University of California in Berkeley to absolve saturated fat from the crime of clogging arteries.

"[Past findings] may simply suggest that unsaturated fats are an even healthier option...We don't have convincing evidence that [saturated fats] are bad," Dr. Krauss says. Fact is, saturated fats have been found to raise good cholesterol in our system. This doesn't give you reason to feast on fat, though.

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Moderation is key in terms of cinluding fatty foods in our meals—and also in terms of these other bad-rep cases we've rounded up. Court is in session with immediate pardon in view.

The charge:
Clogs arteries, causes heart disease, makes you gain unwanted weight

The sneaky benefits: If you keep the portions reasonable, fat will even help you eat less. The fat in rib-eye steaks triggers your body to produce CCK, a satiety homone that helps you feel full longer.

A serving of chicking skin—roasted, not fried—gives half of your daily requirement of selenium, which is essential in warding off cancer. And a one-ounce serving of chicharon has 17 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and no carbohydrates. The better news is that most of the 9 grams of fat comes from oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil.

Image: Super Size Me (2004)

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