Facts on Fats
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is a vital part of all the cells in the body. Only a small proportion of cholesterol in the body comes directly from the cholesterol in food, the rest is mostly produced in the liver from saturated fat.
There are two mains types of cholesterol in the body:
- HDL (high density lipoprotein). This is protective cholesterol and is therefore commonly known as ‘good’ cholesterol
- LDL (low density lipoprotein) This is more ‘harmful’ cholesterol and is therefore commonly known as ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Essential fatty acids
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both fatty acids that people need to maintain the health of their heart, joints, brain, skin and their general wellbeing. There is some suggestion that Omega 3 oils might increase metabolic rates and so help slimming. Omega 3 is found in oily fish (such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna) as well as walnuts and rapeseed oil. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils, such as sunflower, corn, evening primrose and flaxseed oils.
Olive oil is the best-known monosaturated fat. These fats raise good cholesterol, so help lower bad cholesterol. These fats are also found in rapeseed oil, nuts and avocados.
These are excellent at raising good cholesterol levels and are found in some fish, but mostly in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil as well as some nuts and most seeds.
These are real nutritional dangers. They raise levels of bad cholesterol, clog up arteries and
increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Generally solid at room temperature and animal
in origin, they include butter, lard, ghee and margarine, as well as the fats found in red meat,
dairy produce, pastries and biscuits.
Perhaps even worse than saturated fats, these start out as unsaturated fats, but are processed to harden and increase the shelf life of the resulting margarine, cakes and biscuits. There is no nutritional need for them and they raise bad cholesterol levels and may even lower the levels of good cholesterol.
If you need further information about weight management or maintaining a healthy lifestyle please visit our our Pharmacy Locator to find your local Alphega pharmacist, and ask for advice.