Nutrient of The Month
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
We all know we need to reduce the ‘bad’ fats from our diets (saturated fats or SFAs), but the latest research shows that this on its own is simply not enough. The good news though is that it’s as easy as swapping these bad fats for good fats (polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs), which means that reducing these bad fats is now nowhere near as difficult or tasteless!
Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fats lower our ‘bad’ cholesterol reducing our risk of heart disease and stroke. Natural sources of omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, cereals, most vegetable oils, whole grains, margarines, salad dressings and mayonnaise. The latest recommendations suggest a healthy amount of fat to include in your diet is 20-35% of your daily energy needs, which for most people is around 50-80g per day. This might seem like a lot, but rest assured that this amount of fat will definitely not make you put on weight as part of a balanced diet.
There are several easy ways to increase the unsaturated fat in your diet:
- Make sure you cook with vegetable oils when preparing fresh meals
- Replace butter with margarine on toast and sandwiches, as well as in cooking
- Include nuts and seeds as a regular snack (try to choose unsalted)
- Add nuts, seeds and avocado to a healthy salad. Not only will they add colour and texture, but they will help keep you fuller for longer!
- Swap meats or creamy dairy a couple of nights per week for legumes, oily fish, nuts or avocado.
If you would like more tips on including these healthy fats in your diet, or to join a cooking demonstration where you can learn some new recipes rich in unsaturated fats, contact Eat Me Nutrition today!