Fitness Tip of the Week with Dave Marsh: The truth about fats – the good, bad, and the essential.

Fitness Tip of the Week with Dave Marsh: The truth about fats – the good, bad, and the essential.

Fitness Tip of the Week with Dave Marsh: The truth about fats – the good, bad, and the essential.

First published in News by

More and more research shows fats form part of a healthy diet, but are all fats created equal?

WHEN we hear the word ‘fat’ most of us immediately think weight gain, cellulite and cholesterol. Over the years, many of us have been indoctrinated into thinking that all fats are bad and should never be consumed. However, more and more research is showing that there are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats. In fact, your body actually needs some fats.

Why your body needs fats.

Fats are essential to our bodies for building cell walls, lubricating our joints, stabilizing our hormones, maintaining body warmth, and providing elasticity for blood vessels and skin. Fats are also needed by the body for the correct metabolism of carbohydrates and protein. The important point here is that you need to consume essential fats for your body to fully function.

What are ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’?

There are two kinds of fats that you can consume: good fats, and bad fats. Good fats are the ones essential for good health, and bad fats are those responsible for raising harmful blood cholesterol.

The bad fats are known as saturated fats and are the products of animals. These fats are the ones that are solids at room temperature. These fats are full of cholesterol and are more difficult for your body to digest. Butter, eggs, cheese, ice cream, and poultry skin are all examples of saturated fats.

Trans fats are also ‘bad’ fats. Examples of these are margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and animal shortenings (like lard). Trans fats will increase the bad cholesterol in your blood, reduce the good, and also increase your triglycerides. These fats should be avoided at all costs and can also be found in chips and most fast foods.

The ‘good’ fats are known as unsaturated fats and are plant products, such as seeds, nuts and vegetables. Unsaturated fats break down into two categories: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature (think cooking oils as an example). Sunflower oil is a good example of a polyunsaturated fat, and olive oil and canola oil are monounsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats, or omega nine fatty acids, are not essential to good health, but when used moderately are a much better alternative than animal fats. The essential fatty acids are known as omega six and omega three. These essential fatty acids are only found in the polyunsaturated fats.

Omega three fatty acids can be found in flax seed oil and fish (think tuna, salmon, sardines, herrings, pilchards, and mackerel).

Omega nine fatty acids can be found in sesame oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, safflower oil, pumpkin oil, and evening primrose oil.

Essential fatty acids cannot be made by our bodies. Therefore, we need to consume some of these essential fatty acids to maintain our good health.

How much is a healthy amount?

To function correctly, your body requires the equivalent of one teaspoon of oil daily. A healthy amount to strive for is 25 per cent of your total energy needs from fats.

Many health authorities now recommend between 25-40 grams of fat daily as a healthy intake for the average adult.

While fats are essential, it is important to remember that they are extremely energy dense. One gram of fat contains nine calories. By contrast, one gram of protein or carbohydrate contains only four calories.

Always keep in mind that a little (good) fat goes a long way.

Comments (5)

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12:54pm Tue 26 Aug 14

offshoretinker says...

This article shows a woeful ignorance of the science behind the obesity epidemic and the diabetes mellitus tsunami that will bankrupt the NHS if there isn't a seismic shift away from 'healthy whole grains' and industrial seed (not 'vegetable'} oils.
Still trotting out the same old message that saturated fat is a killer is the reason we have the current health issues plaguing the developed and developing word.
Using the argument 'everybody knows...' is no argument as it doesn't matter if a million scientists agree on any issue, if it's wrong, it's wrong.
The tide is turning, though it will not be any time soon big pharma and the food manufacturers will roll over.
A few evenings googling the issues may change your paradigm. Look up Ancel Keys for a start then have a look at what Sweden's take is:

http://www.dietdocto
r.com/lchf
This article shows a woeful ignorance of the science behind the obesity epidemic and the diabetes mellitus tsunami that will bankrupt the NHS if there isn't a seismic shift away from 'healthy whole grains' and industrial seed (not 'vegetable'} oils. Still trotting out the same old message that saturated fat is a killer is the reason we have the current health issues plaguing the developed and developing word. Using the argument 'everybody knows...' is no argument as it doesn't matter if a million scientists agree on any issue, if it's wrong, it's wrong. The tide is turning, though it will not be any time soon big pharma and the food manufacturers will roll over. A few evenings googling the issues may change your paradigm. Look up Ancel Keys for a start then have a look at what Sweden's take is: http://www.dietdocto r.com/lchf offshoretinker
  • Score: 1

5:02pm Tue 26 Aug 14

offshoretinker says...

Anyone interested in hard science of diet and health should go to youTube and watch Ivor Cummins' lectures and videos.

https://www.youtube.
com/channel/UCPn4Fsi
QP15nudug9FDhluA/vid
eos
Anyone interested in hard science of diet and health should go to youTube and watch Ivor Cummins' lectures and videos. https://www.youtube. com/channel/UCPn4Fsi QP15nudug9FDhluA/vid eos offshoretinker
  • Score: 0

12:35am Thu 28 Aug 14

thefatemperor says...

thanks offshoretinker! not sure your link works - just in case they want to get the real science: https://www.youtube.
com/channel/UCPn4Fsi
QP15nudug9FDhluA

best
ivor
thanks offshoretinker! not sure your link works - just in case they want to get the real science: https://www.youtube. com/channel/UCPn4Fsi QP15nudug9FDhluA best ivor thefatemperor
  • Score: 0

12:37am Thu 28 Aug 14

thefatemperor says...

https://www.youtube.
com/channel/UCPn4Fsi
QP15nudug9FDhluA

here we go again - they got me too - who designed this comment system?
https://www.youtube. com/channel/UCPn4Fsi QP15nudug9FDhluA here we go again - they got me too - who designed this comment system? thefatemperor
  • Score: 0

12:38am Thu 28 Aug 14

thefatemperor says...

ok that's enough - just google "ivor cummins"
ok that's enough - just google "ivor cummins" thefatemperor
  • Score: 1

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