Are you trying to avoid fats?


What kind of fats are you eating?

I frequently come across people especially females  who are trying their best to avoid fats. "Fats make fat" is the common believe but is that true?

Every macro nutrient has gone through the wars. First eating red meat was giving you a hard attack then eating carbs was making you a diabetic and finally fats were clogging up your arteries giving you a stroke and make you fat...

Seriously? We might as well just not eat...

Without going to much into science let's just all accept that we need it all: protein, carbs and fats! Obviously we want to have everything in moderation and depending on the individual one may be running better on slightly more carbs or slightly more fats.

Either way it's absolutely vital that we have enough fats in our diet because it contributes to keeping us healthy.

This does not mean go and eat deep fried chicken wings and chips every day... You still need to eat the right ones.

Eating healthy fats is important for health & achieving a fitness related goal.

Are you eating the right fats and enough?

There are 3 types of fats:

  • saturated fats
  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats


Saturated fats are the best fats used for cooking and hold a lot of benefits for us:

  • Primary energy source for the body
  • Help us maintain healthy skin/ hair , body temperature, supporting immune function, helping to absorb fat soluble vitamins
  • Saturated fats are more easily burned as energy as polyunsaturated fats. When your body converts saturated fats into energy there is no toxic by product 


Best sources:

  • Cream, unprocessed milk/ yoghurt, butter, ghee, coconut products such as coconut oil, eggs


What about monounsaturated fats?

Primary sources include olives, avocados, certain nuts e.g. macadamias, almonds, duck fat, eggs, chicken fat, butter. 

Monounsaturated fats contribute to the key structure of our bodies and are not toxic even in high doses. 

Other benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced bad cholesterol, inflammation
  • Lower blood pressure


Polyunsaturated fats

Polyusaturated fats are either Omega 3 or Omega 6 fatty acids. Both of these are much needed by our bodies as we can’t make these ourselves. 

As the modern diet is high in Omega 6 fatty acids focus on eating foods rich in Omega 3’s

Omega 3 richest foods: cold water fatty fish e.g. sardines mackerel, herring, bass (as your main source), shellfish, pastured meat, (smaller amounts of walnuts and flax; as they are high in Omega 6 too).

Include some naturally occurring Omega 6 rich foods such as: nuts, seeds, poultry, avocados and avoid refined grains; limit grains to a couple times a week, avoid eating large amounts of nuts and seeds.


Which fats should be avoided altogether?

  • All processed foods (full of trans-fatty acids)
  • Margarine (high in trans-fatty acids)

Structurally trans-fatty acids are closer to plastic than fat.

Those fats have been linked to elevated cholesterol levels as well as heart disease.

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Vegetable oils (safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, canola oil)
  • Fats from conventionally raised animals/fish
  • Roasted/salted nuts
  • Deep fried foods
  • Also avoid low fat products/ skim products


Which fats are safe to eat and should be in your kitchen cupboard?:

- Quality saturated fats: coconut oil, organic butter, organic grass fed animal fats, ghee, lard…For cooking only use saturated fats as they are more stable in heat. Unsaturated fats such as olive oil become a bad quality saturated fat when used in cooking

- Quality unsaturated fats: mainly cold pressed olive oil. Avocado, raw/activated seeds, nuts (limit to 5-8/ day), cold pressed flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil (use in salads only), hemp seed oil

- Essential fatty acids:  (fats that our bodies are unable to manufacture) Omega 3 and Omega 6. Personally I supplement with “Green pastures fermented cod liver oil” as this is known to be the best Omega 3 supplement on the market

Nina Egenberger
Nina Egenberger