7% of a balanced diet*

Typical calories per 100g = 500kcal to 700kcal

Fat is ESSENTIAL for our health.
It’s an important, truthful point. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

So what are fatty acids?

It is simply the specific term for the 4 types of fat. Thats right there are 4 types, not 3 types of fat! Only 3 of them tend to be labelled on food. I’ve talked about each of these below.

But if you’d like to know more about food labels click here. Why are some types of fatty acids essential?

To name just a few reasons, we need fat to absorb nutrients, protect our organs, produce sex hormones AND regulate our metabolism, something all diabetics could benefit from!

Of the essential fatty acids (or EFA’s) are Omega’s 3, 6 & 9 which are found in Mono-Unsaturated and Poly-Unsaturated fats.

What’s the deal with Omega 3, 6 & 9?

Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 have scientific properties that maintains healthy skin and nails, balance your hormones (to improve your mood and prevent things like depression) and can also help prevent diseases – including diabetes!

Many more foods are promoting the benefits of Omega’s 3 6 and 9 but did you also know that many of them can be found in cooking oil?

Of all the cooking oils on the market, one of my favourites and most versatile cooking oil has to be extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil contains many EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) that can help prevent and control diabetes and since you can add it to so many foods you could be one step away from discovering its benefits.

Why should we acknowledge the fat in our foods?

Like carbohydrates, Fatty foods provide a big source of energy. In comparison, if I have the same portion of carbs on one plate as I have fat, on the other, the carbs would give me considerably less energy. This is because it has less than half the calories of fat.

So if you’re on a low-carb diet, you might want to reconsider. Click here for reasons why diets fail to see if you should.

If we eat an UNBALANCED diet and eat more fat than the “grains” or “fruit and veg” groups we would easily put on weight EVERY SINGLE DAY! You would have to do a ridiculous amount of excersize to burn off that weight.

This is why this group only accounts for 7%! REMEMBER, you are at an increased risk of havng diabetes if you are obese. In fact around 80% of people in the UK with diabetes ARE obese!

Surely, many of these people have tried dieting? Worringly though, that percentage is increasing so their diets probably aren’t working. Are you one of these people? Does this remind you of anyone? I urge you to read my top reasons why diets fail.

So what should I eat?

There are four types of fats (fatty acids). Here is a list from the worst type (top) to the best type (bottom):

  • Trans
  • Saturated
  • Mono-unsaturated (one of which is Omega 9)
  • Poly-unsaturated (Two of which are Omegas 3 & 6)

Trans

Avoid the trans fatty acids AT ALL COSTS. This can turn good fats into bad fats. Example: Making a stir fry in a wok of full fat margarine

Trans fats can be found in:

  • Processesed foods.
    Especially meaty products from the fast food places. You don’t need them, they need you. So don’t be seduced by those “happy meals”.
  • Cakes.
    These are also high in simple sugars which i’ll get to in a sec.
  • And margarines and butter.

Saturated

This gets a lot of negative press and so it should. This type of fatty acid is generally easy to spot. Look at the packaging for the nutritional info. Look under the fat section for “of which saturates”. Always read down from the “of which 100g or 100ml” columns. This way you can easily compare products.

NOTE: Saturated fats are found in many things. You don’t have to worry too much if the amount is much smaller than the other good types.

Mono-unsaturated

This type is good for us but isn’t an EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) as long as we eat enough of the best type. Our bodies can make this acid from poly-unsaturates.

Many foods that contain this type of fat will contain the best type.

Poly-unsaturated

Some of us know about Omega 6 and we all should know Omega 3. These are EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) as they help our bodies grow, protect our brains from diseases and are helpful for our immune systems.

Poly & mono-unsaturated fatty acids can be found in:

  • Vegetable oils.
    Especially corn, olive, rapeseed, safflower and soya.
  • Oily fish.
    Sardines, mackerel and herrings to name a few
  • And nuts seeds & some grains like flaxseed and quinoa(keen-wah)

Return from Fatty Acids to Food Groups

Or complete this group by heading to the Simple Sugars Page