The Importance of Healthy Fats

The Importance of Healthy Fats

Author -  Jenna Walker - Nutritionist

Find out which fats are essential to source from our diet and how you can increase your intake for improved health.

Fat is one of the three major nutrients our body needs to function at its best, and is the source of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamins provide antioxidant protection and immune support. The Ministry of Health recommends 20-35% of our daily energy intake comes from fat [1]. All fats are made up of a variety of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. There are certain polyunsaturated fats which our bodies cannot make and are essential – we must source these from our food. These are the omega 3 and omega 6 fats you may have heard about.

Linoleic acid is an essential omega 6 fatty acid – found in seed oils such as sunflower

  • Helps to lower total and LDL cholesterol (a risk factor for heart disease) [1].

Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential omega 3 fatty acid - found in flaxseed (linseed), canola oil, walnuts

  • Provides a form of fat our body needs in order to make EPA and DHA (naturally present in oily fish)
  • EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) are long chain fatty acids which can only be produced by the body from a dietary intake of Alpha-linolenic acid
  • EPA and DHA are known for their anti-inflammatory effects and positive impact on heart health [1].

Too little of these omega 3 and 6 fats in the diet can result in dry, rough, skin or dermatitis [1].

The Heart Foundation recommends reducing saturated and trans fat intakes (which play a role in heart disease) and replacing these fats with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats [2]. 

Healtheries Oils are produced from foods we know naturally have a mixture of these healthy fats and are a great way to help you meet your needs. 

  • Flaxseed Oil – made from linseeds to provide a source of Omega 3 – great in smoothies 
  • LSA Oil – Linseed, Sunflower and Almonds provide a source of Omega 3 – perfect in salads 
  • Almond Oil – provides a source of Omega 9 – tasty substitute in baking 
  • Cod Liver Oil – provides a source of Omega 3 and 10% of your Vitamin D RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)

1. The National Health and Medical Research Council & The New Zealand Ministry of Health. (2006). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved from www.nhmrc.gov.au
2. National Heart Foundation of Australia. (2009). Dietary Fats, Dietary Cholesterol and Heart Health. Retrieved from www.heartfoundation.org.au

 
 
 
 
 

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