Let‚'s talk about this small three letter word that everybody seems to hate and avoid as much as possible. Are you one of these people? You will be glad to know that it‚'s not all bad and you do actually need fats as part of a healthy diet!
Types of fat
There are two types of fat, saturated and unsaturated. The difference between the two is to do with their structural make up. Saturated fats contain the maximum amount of hydrogen in their acid chain and are therefore very dense. The acid in your body cannot react with this type of fat and finds it harder to break it down. Unsaturated fats are less dense, your body can react with this type of fat and can break it down easily. A healthy and balanced diet should include a certain amount of fat as it contributes towards plenty of important bodily processes. Fats provide energy, help the absorption of vitamins and minerals and insulate the body's vital organs.
What are saturated fats?
Saturated fat is found in many animal products such as:
- It is also found in processed foods such as cakes and biscuits
This is the type of fat that you should try to limit in your everyday diet as your body finds it harder to break down and too much can be bad for you. Studies have shown a link between the intake of saturated fat and an increase in cholesterol levels.
What are unsaturated fats?
Unsaturated fat is found in foods such as:
- Oily Fish
This type of fat is good for you and can be broken down easily. It provides your body with the energy that it needs daily as well as helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.
So that dreaded three letter word isn't so bad after all! You cannot completely eliminate fat from your diet and you shouldn't try to. It's about making healthy choices and deciding which fats are going to benefit you and which won't if you consume too much.
Sources: Eatforhealth.gov.au, ProactiV