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The differences between saturated and unsaturated fats

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Too much fat can be bad for you, we’ve all heard that one. But what exactly is fat and when does it become unhealthy? If you can answer this, it should be easier to live that healthier lifestyle we all strive for. Here’s what you need to know.

Consuming fat is important

Certain fats play a crucial part in maintaining a balanced diet. They help your body absorb essential vitamins like vitamins A, D and E, and also help your body create energy. But, any fat left over that’s not doing one of these two important jobs is converted into body fat.

What’s the difference between saturated fat and unsaturated fat?

The first thing to know is that saturated fats and unsaturated fats are both a source of vital fatty acids.

Saturated fats can be found in sweet and savoury foods. They nearly all come from animal sources like dairy and meat.

Basically, saturated fats come from all the foods many of us know and crave! A diet high in saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol (often referred to as bad cholesterol) and can increase risk of heart disease.

Unsaturated fats (also known as ‘good fats or ‘good cholesterol’) can be found in oils from fish and plants. There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These help the cholesterol balance in your blood by decreasing the ‘bad cholesterol’ and increasing the ‘good cholesterol’.

Monounsaturated fats can be found in:

• Olive, peanut and canola oils
• Avocados
• Many nuts (including our almonds)
• Peanut butter
• Seeds like sesame and pumpkin seeds

Polyunsaturated fats can be found in:

• Sunflower, corn, soy bean and flaxseed oils
• Walnuts
• Fresh fish like fresh tuna, salmon and sardines

How can I eat more healthy fats?

The answer is simple: eat plenty of delicious food loaded with unsaturated fats (as part of a balanced diet). There are tonnes of recipes out there including our very own Honey Roasted Avocado Salad. It’s got creamy avocado (so it’s full of healthy, unsaturated fats) plus mandarin oranges and a red wine vinaigrette – perfect!

Another great recipe is our Smokehouse Almond Houmous. This houmous recipe contains unsaturated fat, plus, you’ll love our tasty signature Smokehouse flavour – rich, earthy and sweet.

Our last dish is comfort food at its best, a classic Shepherd’s Pie. Now, you might be thinking, ‘but lamb has saturated fats in it too’. And that’s okay, because even though saturated fats get labelled ‘bad’, it’s important to make a little room for them in our diet. The government recommends that daily saturated fat intake should be no more than 30g for men and 20g for women. So enjoy!

And if you really don’t like getting creative in the kitchen, don’t worry, you can always top up your unsaturated fat levels with our Flavoured Snack Almonds. Just snack on our three delicious flavours: Honey Roasted, Smokehouse and Roasted with Sea Salt.

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