What is bad fat? :
· Saturated fat is more solid at room temperature & is found in cream, milk, butter, hard cheese, meats, coconut oil, & palm oil.
· Too much of this can be harmful & increase the risk of obesity, heart disease & type 2 Diabetes.
· Trans fats are unsaturated fats that are formed during the manufacturing of foods of processed foods by the hydrogenation of vegetable oils. They increase the shelf-life of products. These fats act like saturated fatty acids in that they can impact adversely affecting cardiovascular system.
What is good fat? :
· Unsaturated fat tends to be liquid at room temperature, such as those found in vegetable oil. It consists of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
· Monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). It is high in peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, avocado, canola and olive oil. These fats can aid in weight loss.
· Polyunsaturated fats also lower cholesterol and LDL. Oily fish like salmon, sardines & fish oil, as well as corn, soy, safflower & sunflower oils are high in this fat. Omega 3 fatty acids belong to this group.
What is Omega 3 & Why is it important?:
The body needs omega 3 fatty acids for brain function, nerve transmission, body repair and regeneration, nutrient absorption, as well as maintaining skin elasticity & cell membrane integrity. They may prevent blood clotting & help lower blood pressure. In children, due to its role in brain development, deficiencies in early childhood may lead to; learning difficulties, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia & autism spectrum disorders. Additionally, according to the Journal of Neuroscience (2003) Omega 3 may protect against the accumulation of a protein believed to be linked to Alzheimer's disease
Components of Omega 3:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - found in oily fish. It reduces inflammation in the joints and helps to manage &reduce the risk of heart disease.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - found in oily fish and algal oil. It is very important for brain development & function including mental development and motor skills. It is also important for visual development of the foetus. DHA has a positive effect on diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, depression, myocardial infarction, thrombosis, & some cancers. A higher DHA intake during pregnancy can also lead to a lower risk of infant allergy.
Docosapentanoic acid (DPA) - found in lean red meat. It has heart health benefits like EPA & DHA.
Food for Thought!
The Inuit people (Eskimos) and the Japanese population eat more fish than we do in Australia. Populations that consume large amounts of fish (Omega 3) tend to have a lower incidence of heart disease, cancer and many other chronic diseases.