Types of fat

We all need some fat in our diet – but it’s good to know the difference between the different types!

We all need some fat in our diet because it’s a valuable source of energy which also helps the body absorb certain nutrients. But it’s also important to know the difference in types of fat found in various products, here’s our handy guide to the differences: 

Unsaturated fats

These are mainly found in fish and in plant-based foods, like nuts and seeds or the oils that come from them. You may see words like ‘polyunsaturated’ and ‘monounsaturated’ on food labels. Unsaturated fats tend to be oils, not solid fats. Eating small amounts of unsaturated fats can help you reduce cholesterol, and avoid blocked arteries and blood clots which can cause strokes.

Polyunsaturated fats

Also known as essential fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats are things like omega 3 and omega 6 that are found in oils from fish or plants. They play an important role in the body, helping to keep artery walls healthy and regulating blood clotting. They play a part in lowering blood pressure and maintaining a steady heart rate. A good source is oily fish, but polyunsaturated fats are also found in nuts and seeds such as walnuts and flax seeds.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats are usually solid, like butter or coconut oil. They can raise cholesterol in your blood which can lead to blocked arteries and therefore an increased risk of stroke. Saturated fats are mainly found in dairy products and meat, including fatty cuts of red meats, many processed meat products, butter, cheese and cream. Palm oil, coconut oil and ghee are also infamously high in saturated fat.

If possible, cut down on food that’s high in saturated fat and remember to check food labels and packets before you buy/prepare meals!


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