Good fat vs bad fat — what's the difference?
Sunday, 27 September · 2 min read

It can be tempting to eat more rich, fatty foods in the colder months or if you're spending more time indoors. Although fat is one of many foods the human body needs to stay healthy, eating some types of fat can be harmful.

Your body makes a fat called cholesterol, and there are 2 types: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). They’re both essential, but having too much LDL cholesterol can lead to blockages in your arteries.

Foods high in fats that increase your level of this harmful cholesterol are often considered ‘bad’. These include trans fats and saturated fats.

Trans fats are artifically-made fats that can be found in foods like margarine, cakes and doughnuts. But they’re not always clearly marked on the packaging, so look out for ingredients like 'partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils' or 'shortening'.

Foods high in saturated fat include:

  • fatty cuts of meat
  • processed meat
  • butter
  • coconut oil

Unsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature while saturated fats are solid, are considered ‘good’ fats as they can increase your level of HDL cholesterol. This may help remove harmful cholesterol from your body. There are 2 main types: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats are typically found in olive oil, avocados and most nuts. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in oily fish like salmon, sunflower seeds and
walnuts.

Eating too much of any fat can cause weight gain, so experts advise limiting the amount of fat you eat overall, as well as trying to choose ‘good' fats over ‘bad’ fats.

Quote of the day

Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.

Hippocrates, physician

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