Even though low-fat foods have never been more popular, fat or lipids are essential to our bodies and skin. In fact a lack of them can cause fast ageing of the skin. It should also be noted that heating oils destroys essential fatty acids (EFAs) and if it is smoking hot it becomes carcinogenic (cancer causing).
Bad fats – saturated (hard) fat is found in dairy products and meats. These cause obesity, heart disease, strokes and other illnesses and not necessary for the body. The fat deposits itself in arteries as well as causing weight problems.
Hydrogenated (hardened) fats are liquid fats that have been converted into solids, producing trans fatty acids, which increase blood cholestrol. Many margarines have been hydrogenated and the fat is also found in processed foods. TFAs are linked to heart disease and some cancers
Good fats – unsaturated – contain Essential Fatty Acids and oil the skin from the inside out protecting it against fine lines and wrinkles and lowering cholestrol. They also transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body. EFAs are found in cold pressed oils, nuts and seeds and oily fish.
The EFA Omega-3 contains three different fatty acids EPA, DHA and ALA and is found in oily fish such as sardines, herrings, mackerel, tuna and salmon, linseeds, walnuts, walnut oil, flax seeds and oil; Omega-6 sunflower and seasame seeds, safflower, soya and linseed.
Studies suggest that an increased consumption of Omega 3, for example, may have positive health benefits, including a healthy heart, supple joints and enhanced learning and concentration in children. It also helps build the brain and eyes.
Souces of Omega 3 include:
Oily fish is the best source of this vital nutrient. A 150g portion of mackerel or kippers provides 3g of EPA/DHA and you should eat two to four portions of oily fish per week. Girls and women of reproductive age are advised to eat slightly less because of potential pollutants in the fish.. Other good oily fish include salmon and trout, tuna and herring.
Eggs contain small amounts of longchain fatty acids (mainly DHA) but not enough to be a good source. Omega 3-enriched eggs are excellent for boosting intake.
You will not get any from normal fruit juice but some now have added oils.–
Choose fish with the whole of the body such as sardines, salmon, mackeral and pilchards. Tuna is not so good because most of the oil has been removed.
Organic milk can be up to two-thirds higher in Omega 3 ALA due to the cows’ clover-rich diet.
Many are now enriched with Omega 3 are a great idea for people who do not like oily fish.
Although nuts may be high calorie they contain some good fats, particularly ALA.
Flax seeds and oil contain a high proportion of ALA. Eaten with thefibre they helo to maintain bowel regularity as well as good blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels.