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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 14 Jul 10

Do good fats and bad fats have the same calories?

Today I enjoyed a Greek salad with feta cheese, olives, cashew nuts and sunflower and pumpkin seeds, croutons and a dressing. So the full works, for a tasty salad. I then typed all in my diary to see that I could have eaten a burger and chips for near enough the same amount of calories and fat! This was disappointing and very discouraging. My boyfriend then told me about good and bad fats. So my question is .... If good fats are better than bad fats why is the fat calculator for both good and bad? Because if I was to eat a burger and chips every day I would gain weight, but I don't expect that if I was to eat a salad every day. Am I wrong in thinking this? Can you please help and explain, so I have a better understanding with what foods I'm putting in my mouth!

Our expert says...

I appreciate how unfair it feels to eat something healthy and then find that you’ve scoffed as many calories as a burger and chips. But your boyfriend is right  - there are good and fats (basically unsaturated and saturated respectively), and the goal is to reduce your total fat intake (hence our recommendations) whilst increasing the proportion of good fats within this allowance. The downside, even of good fat however, is that it is high in calories and though a salad with nuts and vegetable oil dressing is healthy for your heart, if it contains as many calories as burger and chips you will be just as likely to out on weight. So the key is to moderate fats overall but to eat more of the healthy sorts when you do. Hope this helps!

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