Fat has had a hard time over recent years
Since the 1980s the supermarkets have been stuffed with low-fat, fat-free, 50% less fat products.
But what does it all mean? What are these things we call ‘fats’? Do they really make us fat?
The fact is that in a world with so many fat-free products, people have never been bigger… there must be something going wrong.
Fats come in four main types: Saturated, Mono-unsaturated, Poly-unsaturated and Trans-Fatty Acids (or hydrogenated/ partially hydrogenated fats)
Here’s five simple fat facts which may help you find your way between them:
- The only ones to completely avoid are the trans-fats or (partially) hydrogenated fats. These are oils that have been created industrially in order to make products last a long time on a shelf (a real biscuit made with butter could not last until 2021!) These fats raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Transfats can be found in packaged foods – margarine, crisps, pastries, biscuits, cakes… read the labels!
- Poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats however raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad… Bingo! This is what we want! Therefore more avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish.
- Poly-unstaurated fats are also known as the Omega fats! There is Omega 3, 6 and 9. Number 3 is the key one that lots of people are not getting enough of… great for brains, concentration, mood and for the heart… oily fish, walnuts, linseeds, hemp seeds and chia are all great sources.
- Animal products (meat and dairy) are mainly composed of saturated fat. It is recommended to limit these, especially if you have heart issues in the family. This does not mean avoid completely – just choose less quantity and better quality.
- Good quality fats add taste to meals and fill you up – leaving you feeling satisfied with less. Low fat products lack that taste and don’t be surprised to see more sugar and salt added to make up for it. Better to eat full fat and enjoy less.