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Saturated fats

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Messages: 1 - 6 of 6
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by cuckoo_123 (U13939733) on Wednesday, 28th July 2010

    Hello all,

    I've popped across from the main food board to ask a question, hope you don't mind!

    It's regarding different types of fats, and "good" fats vs "bad" fats. Recently, my OH has become rather obsessed with the traffic light measures that are now put on the front on food packets. Foods like salmon, and advocados for example, I always thought were good for you because the fats they contained were necessary oils, but apparently they have a high saturated content. Can anyone explain if saturated fat always means "bad" fat and should always be avoided? Because I'm having a problem trying to convince the OH that these foods are worth eating!

    Also, what is the difference between saturated/unsaturated fats, and trans fats and hydrogenated's very confusing! Are there ones which should be avoided at all cost, or ones that usually equate to omega oils, or are not so bad for you?

    We are not on a diet, just trying to eat healthily, and be conscious of what it is we are eating.

    Thank you!

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Cleethorpes (U2176371) on Wednesday, 28th July 2010

    You can find what the NHS recommend at
    Foods greater than 20g fat per 100g are considered high fat. Low-fat foods are considered those less than 3g fat per 100g. High saturated fat content is considered to be greater than 5g saturated fat per 100g - less than 1.5g saturated fat per 100g is low.
    Daily recommendations for fat are 95g for men, 70g for women, of which no more than 30g should be saturated fat for men, 20g for women.
    Although some trans-fats occur naturally, (partially) hydrogenated oil/fats are man made - their altered state makes them more of a threat to health than ordinary saturated fats. They have been taken out of the food-chain in the U.S. but the FSA doesn't think it of sufficient concern in the UK.
    Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, unsaturated tend to be oils.
    Whilst the body can make its own saturated fat, essential fatty acids must be consumed in the diet. The Western diet tends to lack omega-3 oils particularly, the best sources being oily fish.
    If you eat a wide variety of foods like nuts, seeds, grains and cereals for instance, you are unlikely to be defficient in omega-6.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by cuckoo_123 (U13939733) on Thursday, 29th July 2010

    Hi Ralph, thank you very much for your reply.

    So, does that mean that the omegas are unsaturated fats then? And how does one look out for trans or hydrogenated fats in foods, in order to avoid them?

    Are saturated fats natural then - I assume this is how they occur in foods I mentioned in my earlier post, things like salmon and advocados, which I would consider "healthy" food. Are unsaturated fats and omega oils the same thing? So, for exapmle, if I am eating something high in unsaturated fat but low in saturated fat is it not actually all that bad for me because my body needs the unsaturated fat/omegas?

    Sorry for all the questions, it's actually quite an interesting topic - if slightly hard to get my head around!

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Cleethorpes (U2176371) on Thursday, 29th July 2010

    Really would be better to see

    All essential fatty acids (EFA) are unsaturated fats, but not all unsaturated fats are EFAs.

    Depends what you consider natural with regard to saturated fats. You have to process milk to make cheese for instance, so the levels of fat tend to be much higher than 'natural'. The terms saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated refer to the chemical composition.

    To see if a food contains hydrogenated oil/fat, you can of course look at the ingredients list, where available. Heating oils to high temperatures will also cause trans-fats to form, particularly with repeated use; take aways are therefore a source.

    If you observe portion sizes as per the eatwell plate, controlling your fat intake should be easy. (Guidelines include to have two to four portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily, with caution advised for vulnerable groups).

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by barnsleycook (U2188327) on Friday, 30th July 2010

    Here is the link:

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Barny (U13453961) on Saturday, 31st July 2010

    Don't worry too much about it all! A considerable amount of the "science" on which much of these saturated fats,trans fats & etc.obsessions are based,is suspect.
    The best diet advice that was ever given is
    "Eat food. But not too much of it"

    Report message6

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