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7 Top Fat Tips Your body needs some fat. It is an excellent energy source and it helps you absorb certain vitamins & minerals, amongst other functions. There are 3 main types of fat – saturated, unsaturated & trans-fatty acids. Saturated & trans-fatty acids tend to be solid at room temperature. Unsaturated Fats tend to be liquid at room temperature, and are usually made from veg or fish sources. They come as monounsaturated & polyunsaturated. No 1 Reduce – Saturated Fats Why? As far as the human body goes, saturated are bad because they tend to raise LDL cholesterol, (LDL helps to block arteries). The types of saturated fats that raise LDL the most are found in dairy products and beef. However, dairy & beef both have good qualities, so if you do not have a known cholesterol problem, my advice is to consume a limited amount - in particular, use butter instead of margarine or butter replacements (margarine is chemically similar to plastic…). No 2 Avoid – Trans-fatty Acids Why? Trans-fats increase the artery blocking LDLs AND decrease the ‘good’ cholesterol HDL. They occur naturally in meats but we tend to consume artificial trans-fats in our processed food – cakes, biscuits, crackers, fast food etc. Also watch out for partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list. There are no safe levels of trans fats! No 3 Avoid - Low Fat Foods Why? Processed low-fat foods can be pretty bad for you because of how the manufacturers replace the taste and texture of fat in a product. Often texture is replaced by a carbohydrate called maltodextrin (maltodextrin has a glycemic index of 130!! Table sugar is only 65) or artificial thickeners, and taste is replaced with salt or sugar – have a look at the sugar content of ‘normal’ yoghurt and a low-fat variety next time you’re at the supermarket. Your body digests the processed ‘lowfat’ foods very quickly causing an insulin spike, which increases fat storage. It also means you are hungry again more quickly and so tend to eat more calories when compared to a person eating a small amount of ‘full-fat’ food. No 4 Eat - Omega-3 Fats Why? Omega-3 is extremely important for a healthy body. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) and the body can’t manufacture them so you must get them from food. They are anti-inflammatory, they lower LDL, are used in cell membranes and lower triglycerides (the fat that your body actually uses – high triglycerides increases your risk of heart disease). Where? Get Omega-3s from fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines), fish oil, flaxseeds and walnuts. No 5 Cook - Coconut Oil Why? Coconut oil contains saturated fat but it is very stable at high temperatures, so frying with it is a great option. Like butter, it contains medium chain fatty acids, which have been shown to promote health, aid brain function, and has been linked to metabolism stimulation. Make sure the coconut oil you buy is “virgin” or cold-pressed and not partially hydrogenated – it should be solid at room temperature. No 6 Eat - Avocado, Olive Oil & Nuts Why? Packed with nutrients & antioxidants, avocado, olive oil, and tree nuts are satiating, stabiles blood sugar and help lower blood pressure. Snack on nuts & avocado instead of biscuits & crisps, and there is evidence that these foods will increase your HDLs. No 7 - Eat Eggs Why? Eggs are an inexpensive and an easy source of satiating protein. While it's true that the egg yolk contains some fat, it's also packed with important nutrients. One whole egg contains 5 grams of fat, but only 1.5 grams are saturated. Whole eggs are also a good source of choline, an important B vitamin that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system, and research has linked moderate egg consumption to improved heart health.