Believe it or not, there are different types of fats. Some are good and some are bad.
Fat is a major source of energy, it can help absorb vitamins and minerals, lower inflammation, boost brain health, it’s needed to build cell membranes, build healthy hair, skin and nails and protect against heart disease.
There are four types of fat, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad fats include trans fats, and saturated fats fall in the middle. Monounsaturated fat is found in nuts, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil and canola oil. This type of fat is rich in vitamin E which is an antioxidant, and it contains omega 3 fatty acids which are needed for our hair, skin, brain health and joints (just to name a few benefits).
Polyunsaturated fat, like mono saturated fat works to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood stream which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat include fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and herring, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed.
For years we have been told that eating saturated fat can lead to heart disease. It is found in milk, cheese, red meat, bacon, chicken with the skin on, coconut oil, and whole milk dairy products. New research has found that there is no link between saturated fat and risk of heart disease or stroke. Cooking with saturated fats such as coconut oil and butter will hold up during the cooking process, without creating dangerous carcinogens. This doesn’t mean that we should binge on this type of fat, choose good quality saturated fat products such as organic and grass fed dairy meat and dairy.
Trans fats are the type of fat that we want to avoid as they don’t provide us with any health benefits. These are found in deep fried and highly refined foods such as margarine, pies, biscuits, crackers and fried fast food. Trans fats are used to enhance taste, texture and make foods have a longer shelf life. They increase inflammation and risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many chronic diseases.
Source: Julia and Libby
Julia and Libby are sisters from New Zealand who believe food can be more than just tasty fuel, it can be a medicine.