What are good fats?
Gone are the days when fat was the enemy: these days, most of us know that while the quantity of fat we eat is important, quality is also key, and good fats are a good thing. Let’s talk about why.
What are good fats?
To put it briefly, the good fats to eat are unsaturated fats.
The distinction between good and bad comes down to unsaturated versus saturated. Why? Replacing saturated fat (found in full-fat dairy, meat, and any baked goods) with unsaturated fat (found in the foods below) has been shown to lower cholesterol, which is good news for heart health – elevated cholesterol is one of the risk factors of heart disease*.
Five foods that have good fats in them
- Oily fish: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines tare among the tastiest foods that have good fats in. There are lots of really delicious meals you can make with this type of fish – along with unsaturated fat, they also boast a lot of great flavour. Try our mackerel and Moroccan spices recipe and you’ll see what we mean.
- Vegetable oils, and their products: When we think about foods with good fats we often forget about the oils we cook with. But plant based oils, whether they’re made with olive, sunflower, rapeseed, or a blend – contain good fats a-plenty. Think about the kind of products that you use. If you fry in butter or ghee a lot, try swapping it for a vegetable oil, and used a vegetable oil based spread on bread, wholegrain toast, or melted over veg.
- Nuts: Nuts can be a great source of good fats, and they’re very versatile. Pecans, almonds and walnuts are just some of the nuts that count as a handy way to eat more good fats. Sprinkle them over cereal, salads, and desserts, or combine with dried fruit for a trail mix snack.
- Avocados: Avocados must be one of the tastiest sources of good fats to eat, but take the hype with a pinch of salt, as (being pretty high in fat) too much can put you above the recommended intake. However… they’re delicious, they’re one of your five a day, and they look great. Try spreading on crumpets with a sundried tomato and some cracked black pepper.
- Seeds: Like nuts, seeds make a good salad or dessert topping, but they’re also a nice addition to baking – especially bread, adding extra crunch to a crust and their own unique flavour.
*Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.