Fats are either saturated or unsaturated. Know the difference?

Fats are either saturated or unsaturated. Know the difference?

Author -  Good Health

Without trying to change the world with one blog post, we thought it’d be a good idea to break down some of the myths around fats and let you know why it’s so vital you include them in your diet.

It seems that for a long time there has been a bit of a stigma around the word ‘fat’ and that it’s not exactly considered a best friend when it comes to food. While this is true of some fats, there are others that are hugely important to your diet and health (they aren’t called ‘essential’ for nothing!). Saturated fat is generally firm and solid at room temperature, just like butter or meat fat and tends to be high in cholesterol. Whereas unsaturated fat is usually liquid at room temperature and most of the time comes from plants like olive oil and flaxseed oil.  The benefit of unsaturated fat over saturated fat is that it is better for overall heart and cardiovascular health because it can reduce cholesterol levels and is easier for the body to break down and digest.

What makes some fats more dangerous to our heart health is that when it is heated it produces free radicals, which can damage arteries further.  We’ve all heard about the dangers of free radicals, which is why we know eating lots of foods high in antioxidants is important!

The important thing to remember is that fats are an important part of our diet and both types of fat can be harmful if our diet is unbalanced without adequate fibre and antioxidants particularly Vitamin C and E, and the minerals Zinc and Selenium.

More important is the amount of omega 3 we obtain from fat.  Omega 3 is one of the three main fatty acids; Omega 3, 6 and 9.  We all get plenty of 6 from plant oils and flax seed oil contains Omega 3, 6 and 9.  Omega 3 is high in all fatty fish particularly salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and tuna fish.  Why it’s important for our overall health is because Omega 3 has a positive effect on our cardiovascular health, with blood thinning qualities that can protect against blood clotting and it also is very good at reducing inflammation.

To make things simpler some unhealthy fats to avoid as much as possible are the fats you would find in foods like pies, cakes, deep fried chicken, fish and chips, etc…  Healthier fats are those find in foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, and cold pressed oils such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, you also get the added bonus that they generally provide us with important vitamins and minerals too.

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

Post New Comment

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time