Some fats are actually essential for your body’s functioning. Women require about 70g of fat per day while men need around 95 grams.Good fats provide the essential fatty acids that your body can’t make, and also enable absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
So which fats really are good and bad; and which ones to include in your diet and which to avoid?
In excessive amounts, saturated ‘bad’ fats cause weight gain and can increase the level of cholesterol in the blood, which in turn raises the risk of heart disease. You don’t have to cut out these fats completely, however guidelines say that saturated fats can make up part of your daily calorie intake so you can still enjoy the occasional chocolate muffin.Watch out for saturated fats in cheese, cream, cakes, biscuits, pastries, pies, animal fats, sausages, bacon, fatty cuts of meat, lard and butter.
Unsaturated ‘good’ fats will reduce the harmful cholesterol-producing effects of saturated fats.Good fats have been found to prevent cardiovascular deaths, increase the good cholesterol in your body, increase metabolism and leads to a more balanced diet..Also makes your skin clear and hair shin. Recent research also indicates that unsaturated fats benefit cognitive function and behaviour as well as conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s disease and asthma. Taking the right dose of omega-3 fats during pregnancy and breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and cognitive function in the baby.
Foods containing unsaturated fats include vegetable oils including olive, sunflower and sesame; oily fish including salmon, sardines, mackerel, and pilchards; all nuts and seeds; avocado, soybeans and flaxseeds.