Feature

Fats - the good, the bad and ugly

When trying to live a healthy lifestyle you are constantly being given conflicting information on what you should or shouldn’t be eating.
Fat is no exception. Is all fat bad? Will all fat make you fat? Unfortunately whatever fat you eat, large amounts of fat = fat.
However, if you learn to spot the bad kinds and eat the good kinds in the right amounts, fats can lead to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, glossy hair and healthy skin.
Good - Unsaturated - Check your labels!
You want to be eating unsaturated fats. These are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and sunflower and olive oils. These are the fats that actually lower cholesterol and should be included two to three times a week in your diet.
Bad - Saturates! Found in meats, cheese, cream, butter, chocolate, cakes and so on.
The government recommends no more than 30 grams of saturated fats a day for men and 20 grams per day for women. These fats have the opposite effect of unsaturated fats as they raise your cholesterol levels increasing your risk of heart disease.
Ugly – Trans-Fats. Avoid these.
These fats are mainly artificially made through a process called hydrogenation which is used in food processing to harden oils. This method is often used to give products a longer shelf life. They are commonly found in margarine, biscuits, cakes and some takeaways.
Trans-fats are seen to be so detrimental to health that many doctors are demanding a ban on them. Our bodies do not require this type of fat in any quantity so remember to check you labels and choose your treats carefully!
Getting the most from your fat
• Always check labels. It’s not just about calories!
• Use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or lard.
• Avoid solid fats as these are usually the bad, saturated fats.
• Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chocolate and cakes.
• Eat oily fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.
• Choose lean cuts of meat and cut off any visible fat.
• Remember all fats have 9 calories per gram compared to the 4 per gram of protein or carbohydrates so don’t go overboard on any type of fat!
• Everything in moderation is key!

If you have any questions or need any help or information you contact me at: emma@zestwellness.co.uk

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Posted by
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton
on April 11th, 2018



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