What’s the best type of fat for a healthy heart?

There’s a lot of confusion about fats. The truth is, not all fats are equal. Unsaturated fats are the ‘healthy’ fats and it’s important to include these as part of a healthy diet. They help to keep your cholesterol levels in the healthy range and are great for our skin, eyes, and brain.

Enjoy healthy fats in small amounts each day by:

  • Cooking with healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil
  • Using unsaturated fats in place of saturated – e.g. use avocado or table spread in place of butter in your sandwiches
  • Eating fish and seafood, particularly oily fish like salmon at least twice a week
  • Snacking on nuts, or add them to your salads and stir fries
  • Using nut and seed butters, like peanut, almond, and tahini
  • Using avocado in salads, and on toast for breakfast.

Also try to avoid food high in saturated and trans fats. These fats are not so healthy, and can raise our blood cholesterol levels – one of the risk factors for heart disease.

To reduce the saturated fat in your diet remember to:

  • Choose lean meats and trim any visible fat
  • Use mainly reduced fat dairy products
  • Limit the amounts of extra foods you eat such as biscuits, pastries and chips
  • Use table spreads that list trans fat as < 0.1 g per 100g

An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can provide nutrition and dietary advice on the most appropriate type and amount of fat to eat each day. An APD can teach you how to read food labels so you can choose the best foods for you and your family.