Good Fats, Bad Fats

The theory that one must not eat fat in order to lose weight is outdated. On the contrary: Fat is part of a healthy and balanced diet. It just has to be the right fat!

New research shows that it is not fat that is primarily responsible for obesity, but quickly available carbohydrates such as sugary foods, white flour products and sweetened drinks, which cause a spike in blood sugar and consequently in insulin levels. Telling overweight people to keep their fingers off fat is therefore no longer true. Fat is just as important for the human body as other nutrients. A fat-free diet is even harmful to health, because without dietary fats, fat-soluble vitamins for example cannot be absorbed by the body.

Fat quality is most imporant

Much more important is the type and amount of fat consumed. Saturated fatty acids, such as those found in meat, sausages or dairy products, are pure burning fats which increase blood fat levels and are stored as fat deposits in fat cells when there is too much of it. The result: Obesity and nutritional diseases.

Unsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, serve as building and functional fats. They improve fat metabolism, come with anti-inflammatory benefits, counteract vascular calcification and are needed as cell building blocks. Unsaturated fats are found mainly in plants and fish.

Animal fats Saturated Fatty Acids in % Monounsaturated fatty acids in % Polyunsaturated fatty acids in %
Butter 71 24 5
Milk 60 37 3
Lard 41 49 8
Meat 60-70 25-35 3-5
Poultry 36 37 27
Fish 5-10 25-40 50-85
Vegetable fats Saturated Fatty Acids in % Monounsaturated fatty acids in % Polyunsaturated fatty acids in %
Safflower oil 10 15 75
Linseed oil 10 40 50
Coconut oil 92 6 2
Corn oil 14 29 57
Olive oil 19 73 8
Palm oil 46 44 19
Rapeseed oil 6 63 31
Sesame oil 17 40 43
Soybean oil 14 24 54
Sunflower oil 8 27 65
Walnut oil 49 19 41

Healthy fat intake:

50 percent monounsaturated fatty acids from vegetable oils such as cold-pressed olive oil or rapeseed oil.

25 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids as omega-3 fatty acids (contained in fish and linseed oil) and as omega-6 fatty acids (contained in germ and nut oils).

25 percent saturated fatty acids from dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, butter, meat and sausages, cakes and biscuits and other industrially processed foods.