Fats have the most energy (kilojoules) of all the nutrients, so
it is important to moderate intake as too much fat can make
managing your weight difficult.
There are four different types of fat
- saturated fat
- polyunsaturated fat
- monounsaturated fat
- trans fat
Saturated fat and trans fats are the ones you really have to
watch out for as they increase the risk of heart disease by
increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering high density
lipoprotein (HDL) (good) cholesterol.
On the other hand, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol
and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Butter and margarine are made from fat. Avoid using butter,
copha, lard and ghee. Instead choose a poly or monounsaturated
margarine such as olive, canola or sunflower spreads.
- aim for saturated fat less than 1/3 of total fat
- less than 400 mg sodium per 100g
Not all oils are the same, so no wonder people get confused. A
good rule of thumb is to use cooking spray in place of oils as you
use less fat overall. Don't fall into the trap of thinking
lighter oils are better for you - lighter oils are lighter in
colour, but not necessarily any lighter in fat.