Know your fats


Believe it or not fat shouldn't be considered a four letter word. Discarding all fats from our diet might be stopping us from losing or managing our weight.

Nutrition experts believe that at least 25 percent of our diet should include fats - well good fats that is.

The good, the bad and the down right fatty
Good fats - unsaturated fats - are found in vegetable oils (olive oil, sesame seed oil etc) and fish, chicken and nuts. These fat sources deliver essential fatty acids which are then used for cell repair, hormone production and muscle maintenance and growth.

Bad fats are called saturated fats and they can be found in fatty meats, butter and many processed foods. Saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease and strokes because they promote the deposit of cholesterol in the blood stream and arteries - eventually causing arteries to hard or clog up - as well as developing alarming levels of national obesity.

Fat facts
So we now know that some fats are good (even essential for good health) and some fats are bad (causing heart disease, obesity, ill health etc). But which actual fats should try and eat? And importantly, which foods carry these fats. Well let's take a look ...

Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats
Omega-6 fats help lower cholesterol if found in the right foods. When buying Omega-6 fats aim to do so in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Omega-3 fats are, like Omega-6 fats, a polyunsaturated fat. However Omega-3 fats also help prevent blood clots, develop the minds of babies in the womb and act as a anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 fats can be found in many an oily fish (mackerel and salmon) and linseed oil.

Monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats promote the development of 'good' high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) which helps flush the 'bad' low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) away from the arteries and in bodies waste system. This means that monounsaturated fats are fantastic at preventing or reducing the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, nuts and many other foods.

Fats in supplements
If you can try and consume your fats in the form of the foods suggested. However, if for whatever reason, this is impractical then top up your diet with the right 'fatty' supplements including:

Cod liver oil - a great source of Omega-3 fats and a good supplement for those who experience poor joint mobility / stiff joints.
Flaxseed oil - Another good source of Omega-3 fats.

As with any supplements, please consult a doctor, nutritionist or chemist for guidance before purchasing.

Additional information
Healthy eating and nutritional tips
Why diets don't work
Weight loss myths exposed



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All information on this website is for information only. offers no medical advice or information. Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise