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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there good fats and bad fats or are all fats bad?

    Related Topic
    With so much fat free products out there and bad press about fried foods i'd like to know if all fats are bad? How much fat should we have each day?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Not all fats are bad. In the past it was thought that the best way to approach weightloss was to lower the amount of fats in the diet (low fat diet) as it is an energy dense nutrient.

    However research now shows that not ll fats are bad and you do not need to consume a low fat diet for weightloss.

    'Good' fats are unsaturated fats (mono- unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats) are mainly come from plant sources and fish e.g. fast found in nuts, seeds, fatty fish such as salmon and oils. It recommended to consume ‘good’ fats in moderate amounts. These fats have shown to have a protective effect on health.

    'Bad' fats are called saturated fats and trans fats. Eating these fats on a regular basis have been associated with an increased risk of health problems including cardiovascular problems. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal foods such as the white fat on meat and in full fat dairy products. They may also be found in palm oil and coconut.

    It is important to seek advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) for advice around fat intake.

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    As Melissa has explained not all fats are bad for you. The ones you need to look out for and limit or cut out from your diet are the ‘saturated’ and ‘trans’ fats. These are considered the “bad” fats because when eating regularly they increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated and trans fats are found mainly in the following foods:

    • Cakes, biscuits, pastries (meat pies, sausage rolls, croissants), hot chips, full fat dairy products, coconut and palm oil, animal products such as meat, chicken, lamb, pork.

    Fat's which are good for health are the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. You may know these types of fats as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These “good” fats don't have the same affect on cardiovascular health as the “bad” fats and some research has even shown them to be beneficial (mainly with omega-3's). Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are found mainly in the following foods:
    • nuts and seeds, oily fish (tuna, salmon, mackeral) and fish oils, plant-based oils such as olive, canola, flaxseed, sunflower and rice bran, and avocados.

    To help you distinguish fact from fiction, it's best to consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). With so much conflicting dietary information and advice circulating it can be difficult to find the right answers. APD's are university trained experts in nutrition and dietetics and can help you to make healhty food choices for life.


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