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18 Oct

Pretty Polly!! Monounsaturates?

Have you swapped your polyunsaturates for monounsaturates yet? Read on for more information on why it’s a good idea.

Vegetable oils and your cholesterol levels

Sunflower oil is a staple of most homes, particularly the more health-conscious ones.

But did you know that advice is changing?

The most commonly used oils are made up of a combination of saturated fat, monounsaturated, and omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturates.

Sunflower oil, containing only saturated fats and omega-6 polyunsaturates, can help reduce your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, or LDL.

But the make-up of some other oils which include monounsaturated and omega 3 polyunsaturates may be more beneficial.

Fats higher in monounsaturated, like olive oil, can help reduce your ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) whilst increasing the ‘good’ levels (HDL). Olive oil has the highest monounsaturates levels of all oils. It contains both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.

Rapeseed oil is also a good option. It has all four fat types, the lowest saturated fat levels of all oils, and a good proportion of omega-3 polyunsaturates. Unlike olive oil, it doesn’t change composition when heated to high temperatures during cooking.

Flaxseed oil also has all four types and the highest level of omega-3 polyunsaturates of all oils.

The experts are debating how important a factor the balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is.

The gist of it is that typical eaters are likely to be getting sufficient omega 6 one way or another, but we could all do with more omega 3, which has a big role to play in preventing cardiovascular disease.

The six million dollar question

So what should we eat then?

Dietary advice from the NHS and British Heart Foundation British Heart Foundation would suggest that we:

·         keep saturated fats to a minimum

·         opt for monounsaturates and polyunsaturates

·         avoid trans-fats wherever possible.

So that’s

·         less butter

·         probably less sunflower oil

·         more olive, rapeseed and flaxseed oil, and

·         oh yes - step away from the biscuits and pies.

And because fish sources of omega-3 fats are thought to have more benefits on heart health than vegetable sources, we at Practically Slim also endorse standard guidance to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.

So keep eating the salmon too (omega 3) and go for limited amounts of avocados and some nuts such as almonds, brazils and peanuts (monounsaturates).

Have we given you food for thought? Join us for more information, advice and support as you continue on your journey to lose your weight your way. That’s what we’re here for.

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