The big fat truth

Fat is part of good nutrition - as long as it's the healthy kind. 

Fat is part of good nutrition - as long as it's the healthy kind. 

After years of being told to limit the amount of fat in our diet, now there’s news that fat is part of good nutrition – as long as it’s the healthy kind.

What is healthy fat?

Fats used to be grouped together but now they are separated and we now divided them up between good and fat. It is advised to steer clear of the saturated and trans fats, which are unhealthy and instead opt for the other ones – the mono and poly unsaturated kinds.

There is actually no proof that restricting fat in the diet improves weight loss or reduces heart disease risk. A major study by the Women’s Health Initiative found no health benefit in women who followed a low fat diet over those who didn’t restrict their fats.

Fat in the diet – finding good fats

A good way to ensure you get good fats in your diet is to change the way you cook. For example, use healthy vegetables oils such as olive oil.

Foods with the good fats that can help boost your health include:

  • fish especially salmon and other seafood
  • almonds, walnuts and pecans
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Avocados – these are great added to salads or sandwiches
  • Olives
  • Sesame, pumpkin or other seeds
  • Tahini can be used as a spread on crackers instead of butter or used as a base for dips and sauces

The bottom line

Experts are not advocating eating more fried food and desserts. But don’t think of fat as a dirty word and don’t deprive yourself of foods that are both healthy and delicious. After all, your heart and brain needs fat to function.