13th Jun 2017
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How many of these useful facts about fats do you know?
healthy fat

We all know that fat is an essential part of out diets. A certain amount of good fats is needed to maintain healthy nerves, brain and skin cells, to ensure our vital organs run well and to help control body temperature. Fat provides us with energy and gives taste to our food.

Here are 10 useful facts about fats that everybody should know.

Fact # 1: There are four main types of fats

  • saturated
  • polyunsaturated
  • monounsaturated
  • trans.

Dieticians recommend eating mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – such as fish, legumes and vegetables – and limiting saturated fats, such as meat.

Another type is trans fats, which are full of sugar and are often found in processed foods.

Fact #2: Your body tells you when you’re not getting enough good fats

You have more than 10 trillion cells in your body and they all need fat to live. The following symptoms may be warning signs that you’re not feeding your body the right amount of high-quality fat:

  • dry, itchy, flaky skin
  • soft or brittle nails
  • aching or stiff joints
  • hard earwax
  • tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso.


Fact #3: Your brain is mostly fat

About 60 per cent of your brain is made of fatty liquids, with the largest part coming from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is important because it is responsible for connecting communication between cells. This is why eating enough omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel, chai seeds, walnuts, eggs, milk, yoghurt, avocado and spinach) is so vital – it’s basically lubrication for your brain.

Fact #5: Fat won’t make you fat – sugar will

The idea that fat makes you fat has dominated our culture for years. But it has slowly started to break down thanks to the findings of modern nutrition scientists. We do know that too much sugar can make you fat, however. Excess sugar raises your blood sugar levels and makes it harder for your body to regulate it. If we can’t burn all the sugar we eat, it inevitably ends up stored as fat. Basically, too much sugar causes insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic mayhem and weight gain.

Fact # 6: Good fats can help you lose weight

When your body’s cell walls are made from high-quality fats, you can metabolise insulin better and keep blood sugar levels regulated. Eating the right fats increases fat burning and helps you stay fuller for longer.

Fact #7: Saturated fat is not the bad guy

We know that eating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and fewer trans fats is the way to go. But what about saturated fats? Saturated fat is found in red meat, poultry, lard and cream, butter, cheese and other full-fat dairy products. A good rule of thumb is to think about quality. The fatty beef patty in a McDonald’s hamburger is loaded with saturated fat and lacks almost any nutritional value, while a glass of full-fat milk contains not only fat but calcium, vitamin D and potassium. The trick is not to cut out saturated fat but to eat the right kind.

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    COMMENTS

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    Rosret
    13th Jun 2017
    2:19pm
    Just one thing - salmon must be ocean grown for omega 3 otherwise it is full of omega 6 which is bad for you and is inflammatory. The farmed salmon is artificially coloured.
    I used to love salmon but I find it quite indigestible these days - a beautiful sweet white fish is a much better substitute.
    Not sure that sugar is the sole cause for food intake weight gain. - let's just wait for the next contradictory doco to come out.
    Dave V
    13th Jun 2017
    4:21pm
    From what I've read, Omega 6 is not particularly bad for you, although some earlier studies did suggest that it could be converted in the body to another substance that can cause inflammation. Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids seem to be good for you in different ways. However, I don't claim to be an expert and I know it's hard to keep up will all the new stuff coming out. Cheers.
    Dave V
    13th Jun 2017
    4:23pm
    I forgot to say that I do agree with you about the wild caught salmon versus farmed salmon. The farmed salmon has much lower levels of Omega 3 than the wild caught salmon - mainly, I think, because Omega 6 fatty acids mainly come from plants, and that is a large component of the fish food they feed to the farmed salmon.
    PlanB
    14th Jun 2017
    8:58am
    If you saw what the farmed fish was fed on you would not touch it and the filth in which they are raised --


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