There’s a lot of confusion out there about Fats…..what’s good and what’s bad? It is important that we feed our bodies “good fat” to assist with healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Here’s the break down in easy to follow terms………….

Different types of Fats:
Saturated fats –  These tend to increase ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in the blood as well as total cholesterol levels.
They are found mostly in animal products e.g. meat and full cream dairy products. Two non-animal exceptions are palm kernel and coconut oils which also contain saturated fat and are often found in commercial biscuits and cakes.

Monounsaturated fats –  These fats can benefit the body by reducing the level of total and ‘bad’ cholesterol and increasing the level of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood. Found in foods such as olives, peanuts, avocados and canola oil.

Polyunsaturated fats –  These fats tend to lower the total and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels while maintaining the level of ‘good’ cholesterol. Found in margarine’s, nuts, soy milks, seeds and vegetable oils.

Omega-3  –  A type of polyunsaturated fat, which research suggests may help maintain healthy blood pressure and blood fat levels. Found in linseed, canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, Fish and dark green vegetables (e.g. spinach, green peas.)

Where are these Fats found:
Saturated fats –  Fast Food/Takeaway Foods * Butter * Cream *Full Cream Milk* Cheese * Ice Cream * Chocolate * Pastries * Deep Fried Food

Monounsaturated fats –  Canola Oil * Olive Oil * Olives * Avocado * Egg Yolk * Most Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts) * Monounsaturated Margarine Spreads

Polyunsaturated fats  –  Most Vegetable and Seed Oils * Polyunsaturated Margarine * Linseeds

Omega 3 –  Fish (Tuna, Salmon etc) * Fish Oils * Krill Oils

How much saturated fat should we limit ourselves to each day:
In an ideal world we would have none, but in today’s society of our “Eating Out” culture it can be very hard to avoid.
Global dietary guidelines recommend that no more than 10% of our daily energy intake should come from saturated fat. For an average adult, this equates to less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.
How much is 20 grams you say? It’s about ONE Cheese Burger or HALF a Big Mac.
This chart will help you understand more…….

Food Calories Fat
McDonald’s Big Mac 563 33 grams
Medium-sized McDonald’s French Fries 384 20
Medium-sized McDonald’s Milk Shake 733 21
Total for one meal 1,680 calories 74 grams
Hungry Jacks Whopper with cheese 790 48
Medium-sized H.J’s French Fries 387 20
Medium-sized H.J’s Milk Shake 667 35
Total for one meal 1,844 calories 103 grams
Compare that to a meal prepared at home:
One-half of a roasted chicken breast 142 3 grams
Medium-sized baked white potato 130 0
Half a cup of green peas 67 0
300ml glass of 1% milk 102 3
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce 105 0
Total for one meal 546 5 grams

 

Making better choices is easier when you understand more.