Fat has had a hard time over recent years... all bunched together it had been pushed out of many products. Low-fat, fat-free, 220% less fat have become a major headline on anything from cereals to yoghurts!
But what does it all mean? What are these things we call 'fats'? Do they really make us fat?
The fact is that in a world with so many fat-free products, people have never been bigger... there must be something going wrong.
Fats come in four main types: Saturated, Mono-unsaturated, Poly-unsaturated and Trans-Fatty Acids (or hydrogenated/ partially hydrogenated fats)
Here's five simple fat facts which may help you find your way between them:
1) The only one to completely avoid is Trans-Fatty Acids or Hydrogenated Fats/Oils. These are oils that have been created industrially in order to make products last a long time on a shelf (think homemade biscuits could not last until 2020!). They raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol and raise risk of heart disease. These are found in packaged foods - margarine, crisps, pastries, biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks... read the labels!
2) On the other side - poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad... Bingo! This is what we want! Therefore more avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish.
3) Poly-unstaurated fats are also known as the Omega fats! There is Omega 3, 6 and 9. Number 3 is the key one that we miss... great for brains, concentration, mood, for the heart... oily fish, walnuts, linseeds all great sources.
4) Animal products (meat and dairy) are mainly saturated fat. It is recommended to limit these, especially if you have heart issues in the family.
5) Good fats add taste to meals and fill you up - meaning that usually you need less to feel full... therefore eating less. Low fat products usually have something else in them or you need more to feel full... Better to eat full fat and enjoy less.
So bring out the olive oil!
What's your opinion on the fat-myths out there?