The 3 types of fat

Fat is a macronutrient which similarly to protein and carbohydrates are important for overall good health and wellbeing. Fat helps our bodies store fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K), synthesise important hormones and protect our organs. All foods high in fat are energy dense (read more here), so the trick is to opt for foods that are higher in healthier unsaturated fats for their bonus respective health benefits.

Foods high in unsaturated fat are anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic so can help reduce inflammation and prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • Omega-3 fats which are found in fish, especially oily fish like salmon, sardines and tuna.

  • Omega-6 fats which are found in some oils like safflower and soybean oil, along with some nuts, including brazil nuts.

Monounsaturated fats:

  • Olive and canola oil

  • Avocado

  • Some nuts like cashews and almonds.

The opposing fats are the “saturated fats”. We know the below foods increase “LDL” cholesterol and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases when eaten frequently.

Animal-based products:

  • Fatty cuts of meat (beef, pork and lamb and chicken)

  • Processed meats like salami and deli ham

  • Palm oil

  • Coconut oil

  • Coconut milk and cream

  • Margarine

Processed and packaged foods:

  • Potato chips

  • Deep fried and take away foods like hot chips, pizza, burgers

  • Cakes and pastries like croissants

  • Bakery foods like pies, quiche, sausage rolls, pasties

  • Sweet and savoury biscuits like scotch fingers and jatz respectively

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, cardiovascular health or chronic inflammation, dietary strategies which manipulate the types of fat in your eating pattern can improve your health.

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