Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

The fats we do not get enough of.

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Mayver’s.

If you take some time to consider what you ate yesterday, and more specifically ran through a checklist in your head of how many good fats made their way into your diet – nuts, seeds, oily fish such as salmon or tuna, good quality Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, chances are you may have managed one or two. On the other hand, it is also likely that plenty of processed vegetable oil, used to make fried foods and found in many processed and packaged snack foods, biscuits and supermarket staples made its way into your diet. The issue with this, is that processed vegetable oils act to ‘drown out’ the positive nutritional benefits we get in the body when most of the fat we consume is ‘good fat’. Long term this pattern of eating leaves us more susceptible to inflammatory related conditions including heart disease, diabetes arthritis and even some types of cancer.

So if you cannot remember the last time you ate nuts or seeds, or had oily fish for dinner, here are some easy steps to take to get the balance of fats in your diet back on track.

1. Make a nut and seed based snack a daily habit

Nuts and seeds are among the richest natural sources of plant based omega 3 fats, plus offer a range of essential nutrients including zinc, magnesium, Vitamin E and selenium. We do not need a lot of them, but a daily serve of 10-15 nuts, a nut and seed based snack bar or a tablespoon of one of range of Mayver’s nut and seed spreads will tick the box on a number of essential nutrients and instantly give you a dose of the best fats you can include in your diet.

2. Choose your oils carefully

While there are many, many different types of cooking oil, there are very few that offer the positive nutritional properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Not only does good quality olive oil have a number of antioxidant properties that help to maintain the quality of the oil even when it is used in cooking, but the fat mix found in olive oil does not have a negative effect on the balance of fats in the body the way that processed vegetable oils do. This means that for almost all of your recipes and cooking, the only oil you need in your kitchen is Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

3. Check your food labels

A quick scan of any packaged food will reveal the type of oil or fat that is used in processing and most of the time you will find that it is vegetable oil or palm oil that is listed on the label. As such, when we consume a lot of packaged snacks, sauces and pre-made food, a relatively large amount of vegetable oil can be making its way into our diets without us even realising it. The most powerful step you can take to help reduce the amount of vegetable oil you are consumed is to eat less packaged food overall, but at times if you do need to reach for convenient products, a quick ingredient list scan can help to point you towards foods that do not contain vegetable or palm oil listed as one of the key ingredients.

4. Be smart with spreads

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s we were literally encouraged to add more processed fats into our diets with a daily use of margarine, a product that is made by processing vegetable oils at extremely high temperatures. What we know now is that there is no need nutritionally to add this type of fat into our diets. As such, opting for a natural spread on sandwiches such as avocado, olive oil (on hard bread) or some Mayver’s 100% peanut butter or almond spread will again boost your intake of good fats whilst reducing your intake of processed vegetable oil.

5. Order smart on Uber

We rarely consider the impact of ordering in food more frequently on our overall nutritional intake but if you consider that most cafes and restaurant will use vegetable oils to fry their food in, if you are ordering in multiple times each week, so too are you likely to be getting a dose of these processed fats. To reduce your incidental intake, avoid fried foods on the menu, ask for dressings on the side of salads and veges and order lighter options such as sashimi, salads, grills and healthy bowls that are less likely to have extra fats added.