Weight Loss Resources

Hundreds of articles about weight loss ...

search resouces

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 20 Aug 12

What's the difference between saturated and unsaturated fat?

Hi. I am wondering about fat and saturated fat, what is the difference? Also how much salt per day is okay?

Our expert says...

Thanks for your query.


To explain, the fat that’s detailed in your online food diary is total fat, with your personal recommendation being based on government guidelines that say no more than around one third of your calories should come from this nutrient.


Total fat splits into two types – saturated and unsaturated - and it’s saturated fat that is the sort that is not good for your heart because it can raise cholesterol levels in your blood. Not all labels give a fat breakdown,  but if they do, it’s good to try not to choose too many foods with more than 5g of saturates per 100g (those with less than 1.5g saturates per 100g are  the ones to look for).  As a rule of thumb, it’s largely animal foods, eg. butter and  full fat dairy, fatty meats etc that are rich in saturated fat.


To keep your fat intake healthy, you should try to both limit your fat intake overall and to choose more of the type that are higher in unsaturated fats (a group that splits into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). Both poly- and monounsaturated fats are good for your heart , lowering cholesterol. These fats also provide the essential fatty acids necessary for many bodily processes. Unsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils, oily fish, nuts, seeds etc, so these are the ones to tuck into in moderation


I hope this helps.


Best wishes




PS Re your salt question - its recommeneded we have no more tha 6g a day.


You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...