Good fats and bad fats
What fat should we be eating, what are ‘good’ and what are ‘bad’. We are told to cut out the bad fats and eat the good ones, so I’ve listed them in simple terms with a couple of recipe ideas.
Omega-3s are the best in the ‘good‘ fats. They fight inflammation, help control blood clotting, and lower blood pressure.
Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources, vegetable sources include soy, walnuts, and some vegetable oils.
Mackerel lentil salad
100g Puy lentils
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 celery stalk finely chopped
150g cold cooked mackerel, flaked
1tbsp small capers, rinsed
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp English mustard
2tsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cover lentils with plenty of water, add bay lead, bring to boil then simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked but not soft.
Meanwhile heat oil in pan add onion and celery cook gently for about 5 minutes until softened but still bit crunchy. Set aside.
When lentils cooked, drain and remove bay leaf then return to the pan. Whisk all dressing ingredients together, pour over warm lentils and add onion and celery mixture. Stir well and leave to cool.
Toss fish, capers and parsley into lentils and season to taste. This can be kept in fridge for a couple of days and packed into your lunchbox for a healthy satisfying lunch.
Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources.
Try making your own nut butter, this is a delicious almond one, spread it on a couple of oatcakes and top with banana for a quick tasty breakfast or snack
300g skin-on almonds
good drizzle honey
Heat oven to 190C. Spread the almonds on a baking tray and roast for 10 mins. Remove and allow to cool.
Put into a food processor and whizz for 12 mins, stopping every so often to scrape the sides down, and finish with a drizzle of honey. Put into clean jar or plastic pot and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Unsaturated fats are good as long as you’re eating the healthy kind. Good unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, bad unsaturated fats are solid (think butter or lard). Use vegetable or olive oil instead of butter to fry foods.
Polyunsaturated fats are the good fats you should be eating every day. Found mostly in plant-based foods, evidence strongly points to improved blood cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes if these are included in your daily diet. Found in vegetable oils, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and seeds.
Trans fats are the liquid oils full of hydrogen so they stay solid at room temperature and found in processed and fried foods. This kind of fat increases total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol, and lower HDL (good cholesterol).
Food manufacturers can say a product is trans fat free if it contains less than half a gram per serving but these can add up. Check a product’s ingredient list, if you see the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated avoid this product.
Saturated fat increases total cholesterol and may boost your type 2 diabetes risk. Foods containing saturated fat – meat, seafood, and dairy products should be eaten with in moderation. By choosing low-fat or dairy free products you will still benefit from the nutrients without the saturated fats.