The Facts on Fats

Natural dietary fat and cholesterol is NOT bad for your health! In fact, good fat is the very important building block to creating a healthy body. Fat is an essential nutrient for good health, here is some of what your body uses fat for:

 insulating organs
 making healthy functioning cells (each cell has a double layer of fat surrounding it
 nerve function
 energy production
 strong bones (it is required to absorb calcium and vitamin D into the bones)
 making hormones (eg oestrogen, testosterone)
 to absorb important vitamins A, D, E and K
 it also makes you feel full and satisfied!

A low fat diet can therefore lead to osteoporosis, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, skin issues, ageing, inflammation and poor health in general. Good quality dietary fats and cholesterol do NOT become “bad” cholesterol in the body.

Ensure you include some of these healthy fats in your diet each day:

 avocado
 full fat dairy products
 butter (old fashioned block butter and ghee)
 oils – (coconut oil, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, quality fish oil, avocado oil).
 raw unsalted nuts & seeds
 meat/animal fat (grass fed/free range)
 eggs (free range)
 fish with skin

Avoid these poor quality fats:

 canola oil
 vegetable oil
 cottonseed oil
 sunflower oil
 hydrogenated oil/partially hydrogenated oils (usually in packaged foods/confectionary)
 margarine (including the cholesterol lowering variety)
 soft butters (they are usually margarine in disguise)
 rice bran oil
 poor quality fish oil called a lipid bilayer)
 flaxseed oil that is not kept in the fridge (it will be rancid)
 poor quality/grain fed meats

These poor quality oils cause inflammation oxidative stress in the body (damage and aging). They also (along with sugar) cause damaged/oxidised bad cholesterol. They make very poor lipid bilayers for the cells in your body, therefore cells that don’t function well which reduces their ability to make energy and stay healthy. For good health, it is very important to eat the right fats.Don’t fear fat; just ensure you eat the right kind.

Fiona Kane, Nutritionist, Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre

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