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Friday, 17 September 2010

Fat: Good or Bad?

"I eat bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch and I drink my dinner." Grumpy Old Man

Know your Enemy - Fat Facts.

We all know that to lose weight we need to eat less fat. But what do we know about it?

Fat is a concentrated source of energy, the most calorific nutrient we can eat.

Just 1g provides nine calories - more than double the calories in 1g of protein or carbohydrate. Make sure you understand how to count calories.

This means it's much easier to consume too many calories when eating high-fat foods.

People trying to manage their weight should reduce fatty foods to help cut calories. We all need some fat in our diets, but small quantities of essential fatty acids are the key to good health.

Not all fat is bad!

Fat is a good source of energy and it provides essential fatty acids that the body can't make itself. But there are different types of fat and some are better than others:

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is generally solid at room temperature and is usually from animal sources.

Saturated Fat can raise blood cholesterol and can be found in:

  • Fatty Meat
  • Butter and lard
  • Cheese
  • Cream (including ice cream)
  • Savoury snacks, sweets and chocolate
  • Biscuits, cakes and pastries
Try to reduce saturated fats in your diet as they can raise your blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease……

Trans Fats (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils)

These are vegetable oils which have been processed to make them hard; it also makes them less healthy, like the saturated fats.

They are found in processed foods like

pastry, cakes, and biscuits.

These will appear on the list of ingredients found on the food label.

Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fat is usually liquid at room temperature and generally comes from vegetable sources. Unsaturated vegetable oils are generally a healthier alternative to saturated fat.

Unsaturated fat - can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, provide us with the essential fatty acids we need.

  • avocados
  • nuts and seeds
  • oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna and mackerel
  • sunflower and olive oils.
By reducing the unhealthy saturated fats in the diet, and replacing some of this fat with the healthier unsaturated fats, we will be getting a better balance for our health.