There are two main types of fat, saturated
and unsaturated. Saturated fats are the ones we should try to avoid
as the more saturates we eat the more cholesterol the body produces. This builds up in our blood and can increase the risk
of developing heart disease and other health problems.
fats are mostly found in animal products such as meats and some dairy produce. They can be found in some vegetable
oils like coconut oil or palm oil, in hard margarine and cooking fats. Sometimes they can be found as "hidden fat" in cakes,
biscuits, chocolate and puddings. They may be listed in some ingredients as hydrogenated vegetable oils / fats, so check
A good tip to remember
is saturated fats are usually hard at room temperature, just look at a cold
frying pan after cooking sausage or bacon!
Unsaturated fats are essential to the body although
only in small amounts. They include polyunsaturated oils and monounsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are found in vegetable
oils such as sunflower, corn, rapeseed and olive oils. They can also be found in nuts, soft margarines labelled "high in polyunsaturated oils", also oily fish such as sardines, herring, trout and pilchards
contain high levels of polyunsaturated oils.
The difference between the types of fats and oils above is that some are non-essential
like saturated fats and therefore are not needed at all by the body, and some are essential like linoleic and alpha-linoleic
acids found in foods high in polyunsaturated oils such as safflower, sunflower oils and some oily fish. From a health point
of view we should avoid the saturates and probably consume more fish, however one thing these types have in common is they both contain the same number of calories so in terms of weight
control we should be limiting our fat intake no matter which type it may be.