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The Basic Low-Down on Saturated Fat

The Basic Low-Down on Saturated Fat

January 18, 2018

The Basic Low-Down on Saturated Fat

As much as we think about fat as usually being on the side of the ‘bad’ for our diet, fat is, in fact, an essential part of our diet and vital for our health. There are different versions of fat, some of which are better for you than others, and it is important to get to know your fat friends and foes.

Unsaturated fats need to be included as part of a healthy eating plan in small doses. All fats, when eaten in excess, can play key roles in weight gain and associated health problems, and you should make it part of your shopping ritual to check the labels on food products for their fat content. Chose foods that are higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and lower in saturated and trans fats.

To help you with this challenge, Bondi Beach Tea Co. has put together a guide so you know what fats can be located where, and what you should keep a watch for.

Saturated Fats

Consuming a large amount of saturated fat has a potential for increased risk of heart disease and higher blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are commonly found in solid form when they are at room temperature and are generally located within:

Animal-based foods:

  • Dairy products – like cream, butter, full-fat milk and cheeses
  • Meat – usually the fatter cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken, chicken skin, and meats that are processed, like salami or kabana
  • Some plant-derived products: palm oil, coconut, coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Cooking margarine

A lot of manufactured, convenient, packaged foods:

  • Snack foods like potato chips, crackers, pretzels
  • Fried, fatty take away food like hamburgers, hot chips, pizzas
  • Baked items like cakes, cookies and muffins
  • Pastries and pies, which includes quiches, sausage rolls and croissants

Unsaturated fats

These fats can be considered on the “good side” of your eating plan and should be included as part of a healthy diet. As a starting point, when you replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat, they can help to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce your cholesterol levels. There are two main varieties of unsaturated fats;

  1. Polyunsaturated fats:
  • omega-3 fats that can be found in fish, especially oily fish like salmon
  • omega-6 fats which can be located in a variety of plant-based oils like safflower and soybean oil, as well as within some nuts, including brazil nuts.
  1. Monounsaturated fats:
  • located in olive oil and canola oil, avocados and some nuts like cashews and almonds.

Trans fats

These bad guys are unsaturated fats that have gone through processing and unfortunately result in the same behaviour as saturated fats. Trans fats spike the levels of bad cholesterol and reduce the levels of good cholesterol, contributing to an increased risk of heart disease. You need to steer clear of trans fats in your diet.

Trans fats are concealed in a lot of packaged foods, as well as within butter and various margarines. Choose those foods with fewer trans fats when you read the labels.

For a healthier diet, saturated and trans fats should be replaced with mono and polyunsaturated fats.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a kind of fat that is contained in food but can also be found in our blood. Cholesterol has numerous vital functions for our body, however high levels of the wrong type of cholesterol in the blood can cause an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.

Foods that contain higher amounts of saturated and trans fats cause a problem for our bodies by affecting our blood cholesterol levels.

If you get the basics right and enjoy a healthy diet which includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats and unsaturated fats instead of the more harmful varieties of saturated fats, you’ll be well on your way to living a happier and longer life.

If you want more health tips and information, visit our Bondi Beach Tea Co. blog online here, or like us on Facebook @BondiBeachTea. We’d love you to stop by soon.



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