The Good Oil On Fat
Fat has had a lot of bad press and for many, just a mention
of the word can evoke misery. You can try to lose it, try to
avoid it, but your body still needs it! Did you know that
fat helps to insulate our nerve cells, keeps us warm,
balances our hormones, keep skin and arteries supple,
lubricates joints and is a component of every cell?
The key issue for weight loss is not to cut out all fat but
to recognise which type of fat your body need, how much your
body requires and which type is your enemy.
Armed with the right information, you can focus on getting
more of the good fats and less of the bad fats into your
daily diet. There are two types of fat to be aware of.
Saturated fats – let’s call them “the enemy” and unsaturated
fats – “the good guys”! It is easy to tell the difference
because saturated fats are hard at room temperature.
Saturated fats are not essential to your health. They come
from animals and are found in meat, eggs and cheese. They
are harder to digest and full of cholesterol.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and have
been divided into two groups. Monounsaturated fats such as
olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats such as sunflower oil.
Polyunsaturated fats are split into Omega 3 fatty acids and
Omega 6 fatty acids. Monounsaturated fat (Omega 9) although
not essential, is not harmful in moderation. A good quality
(extra virgin cold pressed) olive oil is a healthier
alternative to the usual vegetable oil.
Good sources of Omega 6: safflower oil, sunflower oil,
evening primrose oil, walnut oil, pumpkin oil and sesame
oil. Good sources of Omega 3 are mackerel, herring, salmon,
pilchards, sardines, tuna and flax seed oil.
Here are some important facts about fat in our diet:
Fat is the 'energy reserve' of animals, plants and
The ideal body-fat ratio should be approximately 19-26%
of a woman's body weight, and 12-18% of a man's body
weight. You can estimate your body fat at
Check Your Body Mass Index
Women need higher levels of fat because it is essential
for reproduction and so the body stores it 'just in
An average healthy intake of good fats in the diet
should be approximately 30-40 grams a day. The fat
content of diets in affluent populations can be nearly
four times this amount!
Most foods containing fat combine saturated,
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in varying
Heat, light and oxygen destroy essential fatty acids,
which is why it is best to keep oils in dark containers.
Essential fats must come from the diet because your body
cannot produce them. The essential healthy fats are
Omega 3 and Omega 6 (known as essential fatty acids).
Weight for weight, fat provides more than twice the
amount of usable energy than carbohydrates or protein
(you'll find 9 calories in every gram of fat).
Fat contributes to the palatability, texture and the
smell of many foods.
Fat slows down the process of digestion providing an
extended period of satiation after a meal.
Source: Adapted from Herbalife Today Magazine