News & Events

What’s the difference between Good and Bad Fat?

  • Date: 26/11/2019
  • By: Phil Parsons

Good fat or bad fat? What exactly is the difference? Fat is referred to as a lipid and are compounds that are soluble in organic solvents (not water) and remain solid at room temperature.

Fats have a variety of functions within the body that are essential for health:

  • Highly dense source of energy that are stored efficiently (9 kcal per gram)
  • Acts as insulation from the environmental temperature
  • Acts as a protection mechanism for the muscles
  • They improve flavour and palpability of foods
  • Carries fat soluble vitamins – A,D,E and K
  • Provides essential fatty acids we can’t produce

Fatty acids can be further classified based on their carbon atom bond:

  • Saturated fatty acid – held together exclusively with single bonds (stronger, more stable)
  • Typically found in animal fat
  • Monounsaturated fatty acid – have a single double bond in the carbon chain
  • Most Commonly found in olive oil
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid – contain two or more double bonds in the carbon chain.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (seafood)

What’s the difference between Saturated and Unsaturated Fat?

  • Saturated Fats – High fat meats (steak), butter, ghee, lard
  • Unsaturated Fats – Olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, peanut butter.

Fat and Exercise Fat is an extremely important fuel source in endurance sports (coupled with carbohydrate)

Carbohydrates and fats are always oxidised as a mixture depending on – intensity or exercise, duration, level of aerobic fitness, diet (carb intake pre/during)

Prolonged endurance exercise will increase fat oxidation as carbohydrate oxidation decreases Following an overnight fast (insulin from last meal diminished) most energy will be derived from oxidation of fatty acids from adipose tissue


1. Dietary Fat is required for various functions.

2. Saturated fat should be reduced throughout your diet.

3. “Good fats” and “bad fats” carry the same calories.

4. Fat is an important fuel source in endurance sports

5. Eating fat won’t make you fat.

Do you need help with your nutritional diet? We offer private health consultations where we can review your diet, and create a sensible plan which will meets your goals. Just drop us a message on the bottom right, or email us at

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