Why its ok to eat Fats

Let’s start by acknowledging the speculation that fats are bad. We’ve conjured up these fears that in order to not be fat we have to avoid this food group altogether.

In order to lose weight or even maintain your current physique, it isn’t just want you eat that determines your body, but how often you exercise, stress levels and genetic factors.

We all need a varied and balanced diet to give our body what it needs to function right, because we should eat to have a healthy body and survival, not just for taste or enjoyment.

The Different Types Of Fat

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to eat pizza and cakes daily. Firstly, we have to educate ourselves on the different types of fats.

These are the types of fat:

  • unsaturated-fatsUnsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
  • Saturated
  • Trans

Too much of any fat is bad for the heart as it can increase the chances of high cholesterol and strokes, but saturated fats in moderation aren’t too bad.

Foods that contain a high amount of saturated fat include: full-fat dairy products, fatty meats and processed foods. Processed foods are those that have not come off of a plant or been grown naturally. Pies, sausages, cheese and cream are just a few examples.

Choosing carefully the saturated foods you put in your shopping basket can boost your immune system by helping white blood cells to recognise viruses, and help your liver to function effectively.

Trans fat is the worse type of fat you could possibly eat, and it is commonly used in fried food. For example, chips, chicken nuggets, pizza, cakes, cookies, crackers and more. It has absolutely no nutritional value and has no benefit for the human body.

This fat goes through the process of solidifying to give products a longer shelf life. Luckily, not many foods in the UK now contain this, but it can be found in biscuits, snacks and meat and dairy products.

If the shelf life of your food is months in advance, then be wary! Eating less fried foods and opting for low-fat dairy products can reduce your intake of trans fat. Also watch out for hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

People who want to lose weight should be conscious about reducing the amount of saturated fats.

Which Fats We Should Be Eating

However daunting all of this may seem, there are what’s considered ‘good’ fats. If you want to lose weight and become healthier, eating the right unsaturated and saturated fats is good for you.

Although they sound scary, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in unsaturated fats actually reduce cholesterol levels to keep us healthy and our hearts functioning normally.

Good types of unsaturated fats are:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Flaxseed
  • Peanut butter (containing only peanuts and salt)
  • Olive oil and rapeseed oilFoods-to-Buy-Organic-Dairy

Good types of saturated fats are:

  • Meat – particularly grass fed as it is high in omega 3
  • Dairy foods such as cheddar and feta

As well as unsaturated fats, we should be eating more omega-3 foods which strengthen our heart muscles.

These foods include:

  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Brussels sprouts

Just because red meats are categorised as trans fat, doesn’t mean you should avoid these completely. But choose meat labelled as ‘organic’ or ‘grass-fed’.

Everything in moderation is okay, but also the way you cook your food can determine how healthy it is.

For example, cooking with olive oil is a lot healthier than vegetable oil, as it doesn’t turn to trans fat at high temperatures.

You may think it’s healthy to pick up a salad from the supermarket, but these tend to be covered with saturated fats. Make your own salads and dress it with extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.

Daily Amount Of Fat Intake

So now we’ve established which fats are good for us, it’s important to eat them in moderation.

The average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day and 95g overall fat. For women, no more than 20g saturates and 70g total fat.

It might be difficult to monitor how much you’re eating daily, but food labels have made it easier to create a balanced diet. If it says red on the nutritional label, then you know to avoid it, but generally, focus on eating more of the good fats than less of the bad ones.

If the food is more than 5g of saturates per 100g, then it’s high. So choose foods with less than 1.5g per 100g to keep you on track and avoid going over your daily amount.

To make a start on your healthier lifestyle, swap cakes, biscuits and crackers for nuts. Switch whole milk and cheese for low-fat options, cut the fat off of meats and grill or steam food rather than frying them.

We may pick up ‘lower fat’ or ‘reduced fats’ products to reduce our intake, although for it to be legally be labelled as low fat, it must contain 30 percent less fat than an alike product.

At this point, be careful! It doesn’t say 0 percent fat, so just because you choose ‘reduced fat’ mayonnaise, it will still contain high traces of fat.

Also, these foods can be replaced with refined carbohydrates and sugar which is detrimental to our health and weight.

We need fats in our diet to have a healthy heart and absorb nutrients and vitamins. These good fats give our body energy, keep our organs warm and support cell growth. Without fats, we wouldn’t function correctly, would be cold and our organs would eventually stop working.

If you want to lose weight or just be healthier, focus on eating more of the good foods. You’ll find that you won’t crave processed foods if you eat the right ones often.

If you are interested in learning more about nutrition, we are hosting a nutrition seminar 23rd July 10am -4 4pm. To find out more visit here

Please note that if you are a Fitness Flex Bootcamp member you will receive discount so please email becky@fitnessflex.co.uk for info.


Many Thanks

Stevie D 🙂