We know that fat is making a comeback, but more than just the amount of fat, it’s the type of fats you eat that really matter. There are good fats that protect your heart and support overall health, and there are bad fats that increase cholesterol and your risk of diseases.
The answer to keeping healthy isn’t to cut out fat; it’s to replace bad fats with the good fats that promote health and well-being.
Unsaturated fats are the good guys and the ones you definitely want to include in your diet. These are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are found in sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, soft tub margarines, olives, avocados and nuts and seeds.
Polyunsaturated fats include essential omega-3 fatty acids (EFA’s) which have many powerful health benefits for your body and brain. The best sources of EFA’s are fatty fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that you eat fatty fish at least 2 times a week.
Trans fat is something you should definitely eliminate from your diet. Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol, lower your good cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
You’ll find trans fats in commercially-baked goods like biscuits, microwave popcorn, crackers and chips.
Several countries, including South Africa, have virtually stamped out trans fats by imposing limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food.
Adding a little tasty fat, such as soft tub margarine, to a plate of vegetables can also make it easier to eat healthy food and to improve the overall quality of your diet.
When it comes to fat, the golden rule is to steer clear of manufactured and industrially-processed food fats and take in more ‘real’ natural food fats that are good for your heart and your health.
Originally posted on the Heart and Stroke Foundation