Fats, the right kind of fats are important for maintaining the body. The right fats (lipids) are and energy source, insulation of the body and protection of organs, help balance hormones, provide essential fatty acids like Omega-6 and Omega-3, Transport fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, production of good cholesterol.
Dietary Fats are broken into 3 categories
1. Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA’S) – Solid at room temperature e.g Butter, chocolate. Fairly resistant to heat
2. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA’S) – Liquid at room temperature e.g. Olive Oil tolerate heat
3. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA’S)- Liquid at room temperature and do not tolerate heat as well. Many nutrients like Omega-6 and Omega-3 are lost in the cooking of foods with high PFA’s. e.g Fatty fish, linseed oil.
So Saturated fats – yes all those craving foods, parties, cream, cheese, fatty meats, cakes, chips. The health risks with a diet high in SFA’s are – Cardiovascular disease, Prostate cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal cancer, Ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Just think of it this way… SFA’s do Sweet F..k All for your body. Better off without them!
Monounsaturated fats – do not raise your cholesterol, so apart from Olive Oil, you have avocados and nuts. Research has shown that if your diet has a healthy amount of MUFA’s it can help reduce the risk of breast cancer, decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce cholesterol and aid with weight loss. The weight loss comes from cutting out the SFA’s. The weight reduction then has the flow on effect of decreasing joint pain with arthritis sufferers who are overweight (decrease weight on joints).
Now on to PUFA’s. The scientists are talking about Omega-6 and Omega-3. These are essential for reducing cholesterol, neurological function, eye health, improving arthritis, reducing heart disease, hypertension and help with prevention of cancer.
Omega-6 can be found in leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, grains, vegetable oils like soybean, corn, safflower, sesame and sunflower. Also can be found in eggs, pork, chicken, beef and game.
The WHO recommend that our diets are made up of only 30% from fats… on average we exceed that. With majority coming from all the wrong sources. That is our SFA’s. In fact well over half is from them. With our good fats pitifully low.
So what can we do?
- Start by using the good oils to cook with – sparingly. Choose grilling, oven baking with baking paper. Avoid roasting or panfrying.
- Use lean cuts of meat and poultry. Remove any visible fat.
- Avoid casseroles if you can, if you do – skim the fat when the food has cooled.
- If you must only occasionally have crumbed or battered food.
- Processed meats like salami, hams, sausages again an occasional food. They are hight in SFA’s.
- Cakes, muskie bars, biscuits, pastries really should be avoided.
- If having a muskie, choose one that is un-toasted and has nuts, grains and oats.
- Choose reduced fat dairy products. Try to avoid cream.
Hope that helps…. happy to answer any questions. 😀