The Good Fats and the Bad Fats


A selection of good fat foods.
Image in the public domain, released by the National Cancer Institute.

For years, nutritionists and doctors have been encouraging us to follow a low fat diet, when in fact there are many good fats that not only help us lose weight but are extremely essential to our health and well-being.

So where does the confusion lie? Well in fact, there are “bad” fats, such as trans fats that promote weight gain, clogged arteries, inflammation and other elements detrimental to our health. Trans fat is found in a variety of foods including heavily fried foods, some baked goods, crisps, tortillas, non dairy creamers and margarine.

Good fats not only provide us with energy and healthier skin, they also help the body use vitamins and when added to a meal leave us feeling satiated.

Low fat diets have been extremely popular in the past years. People were quite frankly scared of fats after many inconclusive studies that stated fat was detrimental to our hearts. We were also taught that fat will indeed make you fat. In recent reports, researchers have found that good fats do not increase cholesterol, are not bad for your heart, do not cause weight gain and are essential to our health and well-being.

The obesity rates in Europe over the past 40 years have been alarming. The Irish Times stated last year that “Ireland is on course to become the most obese country in Europe, according to the latest figures from World Health Organisation (WHO) experts.” It is evident to see that we are not eating properly, and are being exposed to highly processed and additive ridden foods more than ever. It does not seem that fat is the issue here, and instead it is the high amounts of sugar and refined sugar in these low fat foods that are stated as “healthy”.

When you look at a “low fat” or “lite” option of a certain food and/or meal, take a look at the ingredients listed. You will find lists of ingredients that you probably cannot even pronounce. You will find additives, sugar, corn syrup, chemicals, stabilizers, sweeteners and the list goes on. Processed and highly chemically filled foods are extremely hard for our body to digest, and when the body cannot digest a food it is stored as waste which in turn is stored as weight.

The dilemma with fats can be certainly confusing, but if you take one thing away this article, a diet consisting of whole foods such as grass fed beef, free range chicken, fish, eggs, fruit and veg is essential to your wellbeing, health, balance, mood and weight. A diet consisting of “low fat”, chemically processed, high sugar foods, promotes weight gain, low energy, fatigue and a whole list of other detrimental effects to your body.

Good fats: coconut oil, grass fed beef, avocado, wild salmon, olive oil, ghee, flax oil, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, eggs (with the egg yolk ☺).

Lose these fats: canola oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, margarine, hydrogenated oils.

Jaclyn Doyle is a certified nutritional therapist and helps clients improve their overall health, achieve their desired goals and develop habits that will lead the individual to a healthy and balanced life. Contact Jaclyn at to set up your one-to-one nutritional consultation and visit for more healthy tips.