Nutrition 101: Fats*

Tuesday, 2 May 2017, By Lauren Massey

Nutrition 101: Fats

 

Let's talk fats. For a long time the misconception was that eating fat will make you fat.  And it's kind of true, if you're eating Trans and Saturated fats in excess, of course.  Your body needs fats in order to maintain itself and help you burn fat.  Fats are essential for fat burning!

Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D and E and they are vital for your nervous system.   They also help maintain normal hormone function as well as healthy hair and skin. 

Not all fat is created equal - there are Saturated, Unsaturated fats and Essential fats.

Monounsaturated: olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds

Polyunsaturated: sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, fish

Saturated: dairy products, meat products, fast food, butter and coconut oil (we want to try and limit these where possible)

Tran saturated: fast food, bakery items, fried foods etc.

Omega 3: fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil

Omega 6: linoleic oil - primrose oil, black current seed oil, sunflower seeds

Fats can change when you heat them. For example, those roasted nuts that you love.  If you're watching your waistline or health, the better option is the natural nuts.  When the nuts are roasted the properties become unstable, causing it to change from a polyunsaturated fat to an unhealthy one.

The calories in that fats you eat are pretty high - 9 calories per 1gram of fat, which is more than double that of protein and carbohydrates, which are both 4 calories. This means it's important to track the fats you're consuming and not only the ones you're consciously adding but the others that sneak in such as the oils you're cooking in and the dressings you may be using. 

Fats are great at keeping you fuller for longer as they are slower to digest. By adding a fat source to most of your meals, particularly the meals including carbohydrates, this will lower the overall GI rating of the meal and help you to use that energy for a longer period after.

The take away: Ensure you're getting the right fats in your diet, don't be scared of them.  Make sure you're accounting for the 'extras' and adding the good fats to your higher carbohydrate meals. 

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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