When it comes to fat, many people throw the baby out with the bath water. Fat has been given a bad name and many people are eliminating fat, good and bad, from their diet, and in many cases exchanging it for high amounts of sugar, salt and artificial sweeteners which have a detrimental effect on health. Here is the low down on the types of fat and which ones are not only good for you but essential for your health and wellbeing!
FAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR
- Maintaining normal and healthy function of many systems of the body including the nervous system, muscles, reproductive system and organs.
- Dissolving fat-soluble vitamins to be used by the body.
- A major energy source for the body.
- Keeping you fuller for longer and give you feeling of being satisfied.
- Growth and development.
- The immune system.
TYPES OF FAT
Saturated fat has received the majority of the bad publicity. Previously thought to cause heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity, studies have proven this theory false.
Saturated fat is used by the body to strengthen the immune system, provide energy and helping fight against harmful bacteria.
Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. They can also come from plants such as coconuts.
Trans-fats are the shockers and it is best to stay away from these as much as possible. Trans-fats often occur when oils and fats are processed, changing their chemical composition. This is done to improve texture, flavour and extend the shelf life, and it is these fats that contribute to heart disease and obesity.
Trans-fats are mostly in processed, fried and refined foods including chips, nuggets, pre-made biscuits and cakes, bakery goods like pies and pasties.
Commonly known as the “good fat”, unsaturated fats are derived from plants, and are liquid at room temperature.
- Classic examples are avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
Omega-3 fatty acids & Omega-6 fatty acids. These fats have been shown to benefit blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, the heart, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Examples include oily fish such a salmon, flax seed oil, walnuts.
Keep away from highly processed unsaturated oils like soybean oil, corn oil and canola oil.