The skinny on fats
We all need them in our diet, so here’s how to include the healthy kind in your daily meals
IT KEEPS you feeling full for longer, is an important energy source, helps your body to absorb vital vitamins and minerals from your food and plays a role in hormone balance.
We also know that not all fat is created equal. Here’s how to tell the good from the bad, plus a selection of recipes that offers delicious ways to eat the right kinds.
Saturated fat is the socalled white fat found in red meat and under chicken skin. Don’t eat too much of this type. The exception here is coconut oil – although it’s a saturated fat, its unique molecular structure helps burn body fat and lower cholesterol.
Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. They’re mostly good fats because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control hunger pangs. Foods containing unsaturated fats include avos, nuts, seeds, olive oil and oily fish such as pilchards, sardines, snoek, mackerel, trout and salmon. Nuts have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and they help to lower cholesterol. They’re also protein-rich.
Trans fats are the supervillains and should be avoided. They’re mostly artificially produced and are solid at room temperature. Trans fats are found mostly in processed and fast food. They’re also in margarine and mass-produced items such as cakes and chips. Check the ingredients where they’ll be listed as hydrogenated fat or shortening.