Healthy fats: why we need them and where to find them

While too much fat in a diet can lead to high cholesterol, eating a small amount of fat is absolutely essential for looking (and feeling) our best. Healthy fats keep our skin soft and supple, and help us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E.

What are healthy fats?

Not all fats are created equal. Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol, while polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6) have been shown to lower it. Saturated fats are usually found in fatty cuts of meat, coconut oil and dairy products like hard cheese and ice cream. Health professionals usually recommend cutting down on saturated fats and replacing them with unsaturated alternatives.

What are the best sources of healthy fats?

There are two types of unsaturated fat: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. You can find monounsaturated fats in olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocados and nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and peanuts. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are found in oily fish like mackerel, kippers, herring, trout, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna. Vegetarians can get this wonder fat from flaxseed oil, walnuts and soy-based foods like tofu. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oil including rapeseed, corn, sunflower and some nut oils.

How can I get more healthy fats into my diet?

  • Eating two portions of fish each week (one oily) is a great way to get your omega-3 fix, as our bodies can't make omega-3 themselves. This fatty acid plays a big role in skin repair; it helps with collagen production and elasticity for younger looking skin, which is why it's a key ingredient in our Enhance Me supplement.
  • Snacking on a handful of nuts when you feel peckish is a good way to keep hunger at bay during the famous 3 o'clock slump.
  • Another yummy afternoon treat is an apple with almond or peanut butter. Cut your apple into soldiers, pop a tablespoon of nut butter on your plate and start dunking.
  • Add a light dressing of extra virgin olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar and a pinch of Italian herbs to jazz up a plate of colourful roast veggies.
  • Half an avocado with some flaked salmon and a poached egg is a decadent (and delicious) Sunday brunch.