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The Facts On Fat

Trans, Saturated, Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, Polys, Monos...

So many fats to keep track of! And information in the media and science seem to conflict about which fats are healthy and which are not.

It's no wonder many people are confused about which type of fats they are better off eating - and which types they should be avoiding.


Main Types of Fat & where you'll find them:

Saturated - Beef, poultry, pork, cow's milk, coconut, palm oil, full-fat dairy.

Monounsaturated - Avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts, sunflower oil, seeds, halibut, sablefish, mackerel, vegetables high in oleic - acid.

Polyunsaturated - Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, fresh tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean oil.

Trans Fats - Margarine, processed foods, candy, crisps, soda, flaky pastries, some peanut butter.



What They Are:

Saturated - Solid at room temperature. Chemically they consist of carbon atoms saturated with hydrogen atoms.

Monounsaturated - Liquid at room temperature, but become solid when chilled. Their chemical make up consists of one double-bonded carbon molecule

Polyunsaturated - Liquid at room temperature and even when chilled. Their chemical make-up has more than one double-bonded carbon atom. These are the omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9

Trans fats -  (most) are created industrially by adding hydrogen bonds to liquid oils to make a more shelf stable product. However, some trans fats occur naturally in beef, lamb, butterfat, and dairy.

Physiologic Effects:

Saturated - Potentially increase the risk of heart disease.

Monounsaturated - Raise good HDL and lower LDL (HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is called the "good" cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body. LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins)

Polyunsaturated - Raise good HDL and lower LDL. Omega fatty acids are considered anti-inflammatory and are associated with lower risk of death.

Trans Fats - Raise LDL and lower HDL, which leads to plaque buildup in arteries and increased risk of death.

What to eat and What to Avoid:

Saturated - While opinions are mixed, it's generally recommended to limit consumption of red meats and butter.

Monounsaturated - Generally considered heart healthy these foods should be eaten daily.

Polyunsaturated - Generally considered heart-healthy, strive to eat cold water fish three times per week and plant-based polys often.

Trans Fats - Entirely avoid products with partially-hydrogenated oils listed on the ingredients.

It can be confusing at first when faced with all these different types of fat.
Just think natural, fresh food is always going to be better than processed and manufactured food!
What are your experiences with FAT, are you confused about what is deemed to be 'good or bad'?
Get in touch and let me know


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