Fats: the good, the bad and the other ones…

By 12. February 2015Blog

Is fat bad? I would say it depends, here in Germany we would say Jein.

This blog is based on an article published earlier this month on the Harvard Health Publications website.

The problem is this, back in the 70’s there were big health campaigns that said animal fats are bad, you should move to vegetable sources such as margarine. So many people gave up their delicious butter on their toast and replaced it with the “healthy” option of margarine. These margarines contained something called trans fats, a type of fat that made its way into many of our food products over the years and unfortunately was eventually found to actually increase the amount of bad cholesterol in our blood streams. So trans fats are definitely of the bad type.

Good types of fat are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados and nuts to name but a few sources. Think Mediterranean Diet. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn oil, sunflower oil and fish oil. There are two types: omega 3 and omega 6. This is where the facts get a bit contested. According to the article omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are good for you and will reduce your bad cholesterol. However, we have blogged a number of times on publications that have found that too much omega 6 in your diet can actually increase your overall chance of mortality. Apparently linseed and chia seeds are very good as they have high levels of omega 3 compared to omega 6.

And to the other one, saturated fat. This is the grey area, for years we were told to reduce our level of saturated fats as too much will lead to heart disease. Then, if you look at the French you see a group that tend to eat high amounts of saturated fats but have low levels of heart disease.

One thing is for sure, too much saturated fat really can be bad for you but it would appear that for now at least we can bring back the butter to our breakfast table and not feel guilty for it.

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