The Facts and Fiction about Fats

If you ask anyone on a slimming programme what is being cut out of the ‘diet’, the answer is usually FATS. Fats are bad! This is one of those misconceptions that many people have about fats. There has been much discussion and contradictory information throughout the years but it is recognised that some fats and oils are better than others.

Similar to protein, carbohydrates and minerals, dietary fat is an essential element of our diets, whether or not we want to lose weight. Dietary fat is required for the following reasons:

a. Our bodies cannot create fats, so we need a certain amount of important fatty acids to keep us healthy.

b. We require a source of energy in our daily living and fatty acids supply our needs.

c. We cannot absorb certain nutrients nor can we transfer vitamins such as A, D and E to our cells unless we introduce some fat into our diets.

d. Fats in our bodies help to insulate us when it is very cold and they also help to protect our organs when taking part in outdoor or indoor sports Brisbane.

It is agreed that our bodies do need a certain amount of fat. However, there are good and bad fats, so it is the kind of fat we consume that really matters. Saturated fats are the ‘bad guys’. They tend to increase the risk of some diseases. They can block our arteries and cause heart disease if eaten in large quantities. These fats are found in animal foods and in a few plants. Some examples of these foods are pork, beef, lard, butter, coconut oil, palm oil, cream or any dairy produce prepared from whole milk. Most fat that is solid at room temperature usually belongs to the saturated fat group.

Unsaturated fats are the ‘good guys’. There are two types, namely, poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats. These fats help to lower our cholesterol and keep our bodies healthy. Poly-unsaturated fats are found mainly in soybeans, sunflower and sesame seeds and various other seeds and nuts. Any oils made from these items are also included in this group. If fats remain liquid at room temperature or do not harden in a refrigerator, they belong to this group.

The mono-unsaturated fats include olive oil and peanut oil. Seafood, avocados and avocado oil also belong to this group. Although these oils remain liquid at room temperature, they might begin to solidify when kept in a refrigerator for some time.

Your choice of fats and oils depends on you. If you have regular medical check-ups and take part in individual sport or indoor netball Brisbane and other indoor games, you will maintain your health with just a little thought about which foods to keep to a minimum.