Not all fats are created equally as we know. There are good and there are bad. Bad fats can indeed make you fat, not to mention bring on a host of other health problems – high cholesterol, risk of heart disease and inflammatory diseases, to name but a few. Good fats on the other hand are not only good – they should be positively embraced for their amazing ability to prevent or slow down certain health issues, in particular the ones associated with ageing. Consuming good fats in moderation can actually slow down cell degeneration and prevent loss of memory. Now that, I feel, is information worth knowing. As, let’s face it, we’re all ageing and dementia is a little scary.
Since the low fat craze obesity numbers have doubled and many other serious diseases have dramatically increased. So clearly avoiding fat completely doesn’t necessarily work. Why? Because fat, both good and bad, is often replaced by sugar in low fat diet foods. Which is even worse. Fat cells that produce cancer are fuelled by insulin and high sugar diets.
So replacing bad fats and low fat, high sugar, processed foods with good fats is one of the best things you can do to benefit your long-term health and support disease prevention.
Bad fats are the saturated and trans fats. Think sticky, solid fat that stays solid at room temperature – meat fat, butter, cheese, processed baked foods, pastries, cakes, muffins, packaged snack foods and fried foods.
Good fats are essentially monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which include omega 3 fatty acids. In terms of foods that means: olive oil, sesame oil, avocados, olives, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and for non-vegetarians, fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel).
The best fats to add in for that extra goodness are the omega 3’s. Known to reduce depression, protect against memory loss, reduce risk of disease, ease arthritis and support healthy pregnancy. If taking a supplement, which could be a fish oil or algae based, ideally aim for at least 1000 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids per day.
So don’t forget it peeps – get your good fats on!