Why fat is your FRIEND!
When you drop the "f-word" into conversation people gasp! (The word fat, that is!)
We live in a society where people fear eating fat as they
believe the will cause unwanted weight gain. When consumed in
good measure, this is not the case.
In actual fact, consuming good sources of healthy fats is essential for health and a healthy waistline!
Why should you put fat back on the menu?
Fat tastes delicious, keeps you feeling satisfied and fats are great to cook with!
We all need a certain amount of fat in our diet. Without it, we
would miss out on vital nutrients - vitamins A, D, E and K -
and what are known as essential fatty acids which are needed to
prevent or control all kinds of ailments and conditions such as
heart disease, cancers, immune system deficiencies, arthritis, skin
complaints, PMS and menopausal symptoms.
You want to incorporate the right types of healthy fats into your diet. These are the healthy beneficial essential fatty acids, good quality Saturday fats - NOT trans fats.
What are the different types of fats?
Saturated fats are the type of fats that are naturally solid at room temperature and are found in the greatest quantities in animal products such as dairy, meats and manufactured goods such as cakes, biscuits and pies.
Majority of these fats are good and do not increase LDL Cholesterol levels and are not linked to heart disease.
Better sources of Saturated fat are:
- Animal fats
- Dairy Products
- Coconut milk products
- Ghee (solidified butter)
These are the really nasty fats and the type of fat you want to avoid!
These fats are used to make things crunchy, make things stop sticking together, and make foods taste better. They are used to increase the shelf-life of packaged foods!
These fats increase bad cholesterol and actually steal the good cholesterol! (increases LDL & decreases HDL). These fats should be avoided.
Trans Fat sources can be found in:
- Fried food
- Heated fats/oils
- and can be hidden in some biscuits, cakes, breads, muffins, dried fruits and muesli/cereals.
Be aware, Trans fats can also be hard to spot of food labels… next time you are doing your shopping look out for "hydrogenated fats" or "partially-hydrogenated fat" that are listed on pre-packaged foods. These are products you want to steer clear from!
Essential Fatty Acids
EFA's are called essential because the body needs them but cannot produce them on its own
Omega 3 and 6 are essential and must come from our diet. These
fatty acids nourish our cells, make us feel more satisfied and are
required to absorb vitamins: A,D,E and K, which are all critical to
help us look and feel our best.
Essential Fatty Acids can help you reduce your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, helps muscle tissue recuperate, lubricates the joints, and reduce triglycerides. They can even reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. These oils are essential for health and have been designed to return the balance back to optimum levels.
- Oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies, cod, mackerel)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts and Seeds (raw and unsalted)
- Flaxseeds/ oil and LSA, chia seeds
- Refined vegetable oils (soy and canola oil)
These are less beneficial sources of essential fatty acids and should be limited in the diet.
Obviously you can have too much of a good thing, as everyone has slightly different metabolisms and activity levels. Its best to keep your fat portions to no more that 3-4 serves over the day.
Don't fear Fat, as Fat is your FRIEND!! The general aim of the game is: we should try to reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats in our diets and replace them with essential fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.