During the 1990s, diets and healthy eating regimes focused on reducing fat and the ‘low fat’ craze became the guiding light for nutritionists and dieticians. Food manufacturers of high-fat products responded by introducing a wide range of low-fat variants – low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cheese, low-fat biscuits… the list is literally endless and changed the way we eat and our attitude to fat.
However, obesity is at an all-time high, science has moved on and conventional wisdom has notably shifted in its approach to fatty foods. Nowadays it’s all about healthy fats but there is still quite a lot of uncertainty and nervousness about including high-fat foods into our diets. FEAR NOT! ace has done the hard work for you! Here is our healthy fats download. Get ready to smash those avocados and dig in…
The benefits of good fats:
These benefits are found in polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and saturated fat. Trans-fats, on the other hand, which are artificially processed fats, can lead to all sorts of health problems – high cholesterol, heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and are a fat worth avoiding.
Coldwater fish: high in monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna are an excellent source of healthy fat. If you do not like fish, then fish oil supplements are worth considering instead.
Plant oils: hemp, grapeseed, flaxseed, olive, canola… are all a great source of polyunsaturated fat. Use for pouring over salads (they hydrogenate at a high temperature so benefits are lost when cooking). Canola oil is a good one to cook with as it doesn’t downgrade at high temperatures.
Nuts and seeds: these are an excellent source of good fats. Hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts all derive more than half of their fat calories from monounsaturated fats. Walnuts and Chia seeds are extremely rich in omega-3 fats. Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, as well as Brazil nuts, all offer a balance of both poly and monosaturated fats. The oils derived from these seeds and nuts are similarly rich in healthy fats.
Avocados: smash on wholemeal toast, add some seasoning, bit of chilli… and now we’re talking. Avocado is a great source of fibre and contains mostly monounsaturated fat which lowers the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol as well as helping control blood glucose levels. They’re staging something of a major comeback so get them on your shopping list!
Dairy products and meats: also known as saturated fats. These fats are not as healthy as poly or monounsaturated fats but have some important functions in the body, e.g., needed for healthy cell membranes and are involved in hormone synthesis, therefore, a little saturated fat is required. Be careful, an excessive amount can contribute to raised cholesterol.
Coconut oil: also a saturated fat but has loads of health and beauty benefits. Nearly 50% of coconut oil is medium-chain fatty acids or lauric acid, which converts to monolaurin in our bodies. Monolaurin is found in abundance in human breast milk and is very effective at boosting immunity. It is a great oil to fry and bake with and doesn’t downgrade at high temperatures.
Check out the ace website for lots of ideas and recipes for cooking with good fats www.ace-lifestyle.com.
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