dietary fats and health
To help keep your heart healthy, choose mainly unsaturated fats.
Replacing foods high in saturated and trans fats with those rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower your risk of heart disease.
Saturated fats are found in foods such as:
- butter, lard, ghee, copha and dripping
- coconut and palm oil
- the fat on red meat and the skin on chicken
- processed meats like bacon, salami and ham
- processed foods like biscuits, cakes, pastries and pies
Trans fats are found both naturally and in manufactured products. Most of the trans fats eaten in Australia are from processed foods.
Trans fats are found in foods such as:
- takeaway foods like burgers, pizza and chips
- deep-fried foods
- commercially made biscuits, cakes and pastries
When eating less saturated and trans fats, the foods you replace it with are important.
Replacing foods high in saturated fats with those high in refined carbohydrates (like white bread, cakes and pastries) is not going to do our health any favours!
Unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) lower your cholesterol and provide essential fatty acids which are important for good health.
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as:
- almonds, cashews and peanuts
- olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil and sesame oil
Polyunsaturated fats are found in foods such as:
- linseed (flaxseed), chia seed and tahini (sesame seed spread)
- canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and soybean oil
- pine nuts, walnuts and brazil nuts
- fish and seafood
Omega-3 fatty acids belong to this group of good fats. The best source of omega-3 fats is oily fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon.