While fats get a really bad wrap in the media, it is important to understand that there are various different types of fats, both good and bad. Our intake of the good kinds of fats is really important for our overall health and wellbeing. The good fats can even help you to absorb other nutrients and vitamins in your foods.
Saturated fats and trans-fats are the nasty ones that you want to limit consuming in your diet. These fats are common in processed foods like cakes, biscuits and packeted chips, as well as butter, processed meats and pretty much all unhealthy fast food items.
What are the health consequences of eating too much saturated and trans-fats?
Research links the consumption of these kinds of fats with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, obesity and other adverse cardiometabolic effects.
When you replace the saturated fats in your diet be sure to choose nutrient dense, wholefoods that are rich in unsaturated fats instead.
Unsaturated fats are considered to be the “healthy fats” as their consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Unsaturated fats include:
Monounsaturated fats – found in olive oil, nuts, avocados and peanut oil.
Polyunsaturated fats – these are the Omega 3’s and 6’s, found in oily fish, eggs, linseeds/flaxseeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame oils.
There is no need to be scared of consuming fats in your diet, choosing the right ones can have a positive effect on health and wellbeing. Choose olive oil when you are cooking instead of butter, replace fatty cuts of meat with fish or eggs (or go meat free and bulk up the veggies) and try to reduce your consumption of anything that is packaged. If you eat more from the earth and less from a box your consumption of the unhealthy saturated and trans fats will reduce without you even trying.