Fat

Eating high fat foods is strongly linked weight gain. There is convincing evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of the following cancers: 

  • Oesophagus
  • Breast (in women who have had their menopause)
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Kidney
  • Pancreas
  • Bowel 
  • Multiple myeloma (a blood cancer)
  • Meningioma (a type of brain tumour)
  • Thyroid
  • Gastric cardia (a part of the stomach)
  • Ovary
  • Uterus

A diet high in fat also increases your chances of getting heart disease, as high fat diets can lead to weight gain and have an impact on your blood cholesterol level. Being overweight or obese and having high blood cholesterol levels increases your risk of having a heart attack.  For more information about heart disease visit the National Heart Foundation website. Being overweight or obese also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.  For more information about diabetes visit the Diabetes Australia website.

Not all fats are the same. Some we know to be particularly dangerous to health, while others can be beneficial.  We recommend choosing a diet that is moderate in unsaturated fats ('good fats') and low in saturated fats ('bad fats').  It is important to keep in mind all fats contribute to weight gain.

AvocadoUnsaturated fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Foods that contain unsaturated fats (‘good fats') include:

  • Olive, canola, sunflower, soybean, sesame and peanut oils
  • Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarines
  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oily fish, for example salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna

PastrySaturated fats can increase blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.  Foods that contain saturated fats (‘bad fats') include:

  • High -fat dairy products such as cream and ice-cream
  • Butter
  • Pastries, biscuits, cakes, pies and chocolate
  • Fried take-away foods
  • Fat on meat
  • Coconut and palm oil

Tips to reduce your overall fat intake and select healthier fats:

  • Use reduced-fat dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream and custard
  • Buy lean cuts of meat and trim fat from meat
  • Remove skin from chicken before cooking
  • Enjoy at least 3 fish meals a week, and include oily fish (including atlantic salmon, gemfish and spanish mackerel, and canned fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna)
  • Use non-stick cookware and try an oil spray as it reduces the amount of oil you use
  • Use only healthy oils in cooking and salad dressings made with healthy oils
  • Include avocado in salads and sandwiches
  • Enjoy nuts as a snack or in cooking
  • Replace butter with avocado, hummus or ricotta as a sandwich spread
  • Go easy on cakes, biscuits and fast foods.