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Getting #HealthyTogether: The skinny on fat

It’s only a three letter word, but fat gets a fair bit of stick.

Fat has various functions in the body, and so, despite the stigma, fat is essential for our general health and well-being, it’s just knowing the ‘good’ fat from the ‘bad’ fat.

First up is the ‘bad’ stuff, or saturated fat, such as butter, sausages, fatty meats, full fat cream, and cakes. Most come from animal sources but some come from plants, such as palm and coconut oils, and some can even be added to foods during production, such as biscuits.

These fats are harder for the body to break down and therefore raise bad cholesterol more easily, which may increase your risk of heart disease. Therefore it is recommended that men eat about 30g a day, whilst women eat 20g a day.

Then there’s trans-saturated fats that are found at low levels in everyday foods but found in larger quantities in hydrogenated (man-made) fats like hydrogenated veggie oil. These also raise bad cholesterol in the blood.

It’s not all ‘bad’ though, some fats, like unsaturated fats are ‘good.’

These fats are primarily found in plant oils and are made up of two kinds; poly and mono.
Mono are found in olive and rapeseed oils, avocados and some nuts (such as almonds, brazil and peanuts), whilst Poly fats are further split into two categories; omega 3 and 6.

Omega 3 is found in oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon, whilst omega 6 is found in veggie oils, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.

Omega has an rray of benefits including the ability to lower blood fat levels, the ease of joint pain, lowering depressive symptoms and encouraging a healthy heart.

Evidence also suggests that unsaturated fat can lower amounts of bad cholesterol, and it’s also more easily broken down than saturated fats.

Next up in the Getting Healthy Together series digs up all the details on healthy portion sizes. For more tips and ideas on staying fit and healthy, enrol at one of our Healthy Together courses. Find out when and where they are next being held by contacting the Project Co-ordinator, Debbie Boulter on or give her a call on 01792 556561

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