The Low Down On Good Fats
But I thought fat was bad?
Not all fats are bad, there are good fats too. It’s important to swap the bad, unhealthy fats in your family’s diet for good, healthy fats.
Which ones are the good fats? Why are they healthy anyway?
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats because they reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in our blood, so including these fats in our diets reduces our risk of heart disease. They also contain healthy nutrients such as antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
Where can I find these healthy fats?
Monounsaturated fats can be found in foods like avocados, almonds, cashews, macadamias and cooking oils or margarine spreads made from oils such as canola and olive oils.
Polyunsaturated fats can be divided into 2 groups – omega-6 and omega-3s. They help to increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in our blood. These fats can be found in oily fish, tahini (sesame paste), walnuts and margarine spreads made from polyunsaturated oils. Oils which contain polyunsaturated fats include soy, sunflower, sesame and safflower oils. You can also look out for foods which contain added omega-3s.
How do I include these in my family’s diet?
Our practical tips can help you include a wide variety of the good fats:
Avocados – spread on toast, wraps or sandwiches; mix chunks into salads
Almonds – enjoy a handful as a filling snack
Cashew nuts – toast lightly in the oven and toss into stir fry dishes
Walnuts – include these when baking snacks like cakes and biscuits, or grind up and sprinkle over cereal.
Tahini- is found in hummus as well as being a spread in itself
Linseeds – use seeds in baking or salads, and look out for linseed bread when it’s on special
Margarine – spread on toast, sandwiches and use in baking in place of butter
Fish – tins of Tick approved salmon and tuna are cheap, quick and easy ways to incorporate omega 3 into your diet. Try our delicious fish recipes.
Healthy oils – Choose sunflower, olive, canola, safflower, soybean, sesame, macadamia, peanut oil and vegetable oils described as polyunsaturated or monounsaturated on their labels, particularly ones which carry the Tick.