This is the best of all fats, and should be included in your diet. It helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
Monounsaturated fat is believed to assist in the reduction of heart disease. It provides essential fatty acids for healthy skin and the development of body cells.
Monounsaturated fats are typically high in Vitamin E, the anti-oxidant vitamin which is usually in short supply in this country.
Mono-unsaturated fats we should include in our diet are Olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.
Ideally, look for poly-unsaturated fats that contain omega-3, like flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or oily fish.
Polyunsaturated fat is also found in vegetable oils like safflower and sunflower.
Common sources of saturated fat include animal fats, butter, lard, red meat, poultry skin, cheese, cream and milk. Certain vegetable oils, like coconut and palm oil are also high in saturated fat.
Saturated fat has received a lot of bad press over recent years. However, a lot of the above examples are natural foods and are good sources of protein. Gaining some of this fat from natural sources, won't lead to bad health. You cannot compare saturated fat found from an organic grass fed cow to saturated fat found in a processed beef burger. It is the processing that causes the problem. We have been eating saturated fat in its natural forms for thousands of years. I think we will see a u-turn in the information we have received on the subject in the near future!
Trans fatty acids
Trans fats are chemically altered vegetable oils. They are produced artificially in a process called hydrogenation which turns liquid oil into solid fat.
Trans fats can be found in thousands of processed foods from sweets and biscuits to ready meals. They are used because they are cheap, add bulk to certain foods and give products a longer shelf life. They have no nutritional value.
Avoiding trans fats doesn’t need to be hard. Reduce any processed or refined food. This will not only reduce Trans fats but overall calories. Avoid ready meals, fast food, baked goods e.g. doughnuts and biscuits, and avoid products that list 'hydrogenated', 'partially hydrogenated' or 'shortenings' on the label. This all means Trans fat.
If a food is natural and if it was around a 1000 years ago then it won't include these fats! This is a great way to look at how healthy your diet is. How much of what you eat was around 1000 years ago? A topic for another time!!
Fat does include calories, whether it is from any of the above forms. It contains 9 calories per gram, unlike protein (4 calories) and Carbohydrates (5 calories).
Posted by Oli