For years we were told all fats were bad, then that saturated fats are bad but polyunsaturated are good, only to find that many processed polyunsaturated fats are actually bad. It’s no surprise that people are confused and cautious when choosing kitchen oils.
Very basically ‘good fats’ are those that come from whole foods and ‘bad fats’ are those that have been processed. Fats to avoid are hydrogenated, trans fatty acids and chemically processed omega 6 cooking oils. Hydrogenated fats are saturated fats that have undergone chemical process, trans fatty acids (trans fats) are polyunsaturated fats that have been heat treated, and omega cooking oils are polyunsaturated fats that have been chemically processed. Consuming high amounts of these types of fats can cause chronic illnesses such as heart disease. They can contribute to increased bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.
Healthy fats are derived from whole foods. Saturated fats come from animal products and coconut, monounsaturated fats come from avocado, nuts and olive oil, most other oils are polyunsaturated, usually derived from plants and seeds. As important as the source of the oil, is the way it has been processed. Cold and expeller pressed oils retain nutrients and are important to good health.
All types of fats; saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are important inclusions in your diet. These fats must be balanced for good health. Consuming one third from each category is the easiest and most beneficial way to do this.
Our Resident Nutritionist, Steph Lowe agrees - to find out more, check out her article which emphasises the importance of good fats, where to find them, and how they affect the body.