We have been indoctrinated into believing that all fats are bad fats and that we must not eat any of them or we risk a whole array of heart conditions and becoming overweight. In actual fact, whilst there are bad fats and we must do our best to avoid these bad fats (or risk the aforementioned conditions) there are many foods that contain healthy fats that we must consume.
Healthy fats are essential in a healthy diet because fat is needed in the body as a store of energy. Fats also act as an insulating source that prevents us from lowering our body temperature (similar to hair). If we do not eat good fats then we are in danger of jeopardising our health which is something that must be avoided.
Of course, we must avoid bad fats and the problem is that many of the foods that we love to eat are dripping in these bad, or saturated, fats which is why we are told to avoid them. Pies, sausages, cakes and burgers all contain these fats and are all seen as foods that we must avoid. It is true that an over-consumption of these foods will result in you taking in too many saturated fats and risk many coronary diseases.
However, we should not be put off from eating good fats and these healthy fats can be found in many foods which are not only healthy but also taste good. Fish, for example, is oily and contains these unsaturated fats (in particular, omega 3) which provide you with innumerable health benefits. For those of you who don’t like the taste of fish there are also nuts and even avocado which provide healthy fats and can be incorporated into a meal as an extra and not the main focal point of the meal. You can therefore feel the benefits of these healthy fats without having to taste the foods!
When is food considered high in fat? How much bad fat is allowed in order to serve a healthy meal?
As a guide, if food contains more than 20g of fat per 100g (20% fat content), then the food is high in fat. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if 5g of this 20g is fat that saturates (i.e. saturated fat) then the food must be avoided because it is packed full of bad fats. If food is low in fat then it contains fewer than 3g of fat per 100g (3% fat content). The ideal food contains between 3g and 20g of fat and lower than 1.5g of saturated fat.
Healthy (Good) Fats
Here are some examples of healthy fats. Nuts like pistachio, almonds and many other types contain good fats. You can easily include them in your daily diet, without exaggerating, of course. More good fats are provided by the Avocados!
As mentioned above fish also contains healthy fats like Omega 3 which have the properties to keep your heart healthy. Some of the best fish types are: Perch, Trout, Mackerel, Salmon (Higher content of fats including good ones). You should include fish in your every day diet and serve it at least once a week!