How many different types of fat are there?

Posted by Charlotte Miller on

If you had to guess, can you think of how many different types of fat there are?

We’ll help you out, there are 4 types, however they are not all created equal!

Today we’ll cover the 2 types of fats that we want to reduce in our diet and our next post will cover the fats to include in our diet. The Australian Heart Foundation has some more great info.

1) Saturated fats are found predominantly in animal based products, think untrimmed meat and poultry, butter, cheese and full fat dairy. They are also found in baked goods, take-away foods and coconut oil. Eating an excessive amount of saturated fats is associated with elevated cholesterol levels. 

2) Trans fats are found naturally in small amounts in dairy products and red meat, research is lacking about the impact of these naturally occurring trans fats on our health. Greater amounts of trans fat are found in deep-fried foods and commercial pastries, biscuits and cakes. The trans fats found in these products are industrially produced – making a more solid fat, they are used for the texture they create and they are inexpensive to manufacture. Like saturated fats, trans fat negatively impacts our cholesterol levels – increasing the risk of heart attack.

The take home message here? 

Whilst there is room for all foods in our diet, there are some that we should reduce and eat less frequently. Dairy and meat are valuable nutrient sources, ensure your cuts of meat are lean and visible fat is trimmed. The Heart Foundation also notes that unless you have elevated cholesterol levels or heart disease the choice of low fat or full fat dairy is up to you! (Those with heart disease/elevated cholesterol are encouraged to select low fat dairy options).

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