Healthy fats

Fat has a bad reputation. To some extent it’s justified, because certain types of it may play a role in non-communicable diseases. But not all fats are created equal. Learn what types of healthy fats to focus on when planning your meals!

Some fats are better for you than others, and may even help to promote good health. Knowing the difference can help you determine which of them to avoid, and which to eat in moderation. Nowadays, when talking about fats, the focus should be more on their quality than the amount we include in our diets. For example, you have probably heard of Omega 3 before. But do you know what it really is and why you need it? If not, no problem! In a few minutes you’ll be one step closer to becoming an expert on healthy fats.

A macronutrient

Fats, alongside proteins and carbohydrates, are the macronutrients that provides us with energy (calories). Fats give you more than double the amount of energy per gram (9 kcal) than carbohydrates and proteins do (4 kcal). That’s why it’s in generally easier to overconsume calories from fat than from carbohydrates and protein.










Why do you need fat?

Fat gives the body energy in concentrated form and is stored in the fat tissue as an energy reserve. The fat tissue isn’t just for energy storage – it is also heat insulating and provides protection for internal organs and shields nerves. Fat is needed for the body to build and repair cells and produce hormones and hormone-like substances. Fat is also necessary for absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It also provides us with vital (so-called essential) polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body itself, therefore must be provided through the diet. The essential fatty acids have a positive effect on several organ functions, such as the heart, brain and eyes.

Fat recommendations

 Now we know WHY we need fat but HOW MUCH do we actually need of it? In fact, it’s recommended for healthy adults to ingest between 25-40% of the energy (E%) from fat, coming from both unsaturated and saturated fats.
• Unsaturated fats 15-30E%
o Monounsaturated fats 10-20 E%
o Polyunsaturated fats 5-10 E%, whereof 3 E% from essential fats
• Saturated fats <10 E%

In a 2000 calorie daily diet, it corresponds to around 55-90 grams of fat in total.

‘Good’ vs. ‘bad’

You need different kinds of fat, and it’s important to choose the right type to ensure good fat quality in your diet. You should eat more of unsaturated fats, in general terms also called “healthy fats”, coming mainly from plant sources such as:
• Rapeseed oil
• Olive oil
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Avocado
• Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, etc. (animal source, but still unsaturated fats)

And you should eat less of the saturated fats and trans fats, in general terms also called “Unhealthy fats”. Saturated fats mainly originate from animal sources and trans fats mainly come from industrially processed plant-based fats. Try to decrease your consumption of:
• Butter
• Cheese
• Cream
• Red meat fat
• High-fat milk
• Deep fried food (trans fats)
• Cookies/Biscuits/Pastries (trans fats)
• Coconut fat (plant source, but still saturated fats)

Rule of thumb!

If the fat is in a softer or liquid form in room temperature, it contains more unsaturated fats. The reason why unsaturated fats are considered healthier is due to the fact that they can increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. They work as “cleaners” for your blood vessels and decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood, which results in less “dirt” (cholesterol) in your blood vessels. Saturated fats are considered less healthy because they can decrease the good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. You could say that the “cleaners quit their jobs”. Saturated fats also increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, which results in more “dirt” in your blood vessels, i.e. cholesterol builds up in the arteries.

Basically, healthy fats can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, whereas unhealthy fats can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as:
• myocardial infarction (heart attack)
• stroke
• arteriosclerosis


Essential fats

As mentioned before, the essential fatty acids are very important to consume since we can’t make them ourselves. The most important ones are the Omega 3 fatty acids! There are actually 11 types
of Omega 3 fatty acids, but the most common ones in our diet are:
• ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
• EPA (eicosa-pentaenoic acid)
• DHA (docosa-hexaenoic acid).

The two most important ones for your health are EPA and DHA – the derivatives of ALA, which is found in plant foods. Your body converts ALA into EPA or DHA, though this process is rather inefficient. Instead, EPA and DHA can be obtained directly from seafood, including oily fish and algae.

What are the benefits of Omega 3?

Omega 3 fatty acids have many beneficial effects on human health. For instance, did you know that these fatty acids form part of your cell membranes and, therefore, are crucial for your cell health? The most well-known effects are the numerous benefits for your heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids can both reduce triglycerides and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels in blood and also reduce blood pressure.

Do you want to know something cool? The human brain is made up of nearly 60 percent fat! That’s why it’s no surprise that Omega 3 fats are intimately linked to the health of this vital organ and its development. New evidence also shows that Omega 3, used as an additional treatment alongside medications for major depression, actually reduced symptoms of depression beyond the effects of antidepressants alone.

Apart from these general advantageous aspects of Omega 3, there are actually several more specific benefits from EPA and DHA. Your body uses EPA to produce signalling molecules called eicosanoids, which play numerous physiological roles and reduces inflammation in your body. DHA is an important structural component of your skin and the retinas in your eyes. It is also vital for brain development and function in childhood, as well as brain function in adults. A decrease in DHA later in life is also linked to impaired brain function and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.



Did you know that Omega 3 can make you more beautiful as well? Well, there are factors that impact your skin that you can’t control – genetics, age and gender, for instance. The good news, though, is that there are even more factors that you CAN control, such as;
• sun exposure – the exposure to harmful rays should be limited
• skin routine – the products you use to nourish your skin from the outside
• healthy nutrition – the food you eat to nourish your skin from the inside

When it comes to taking care of your skin from the inside, certain nutrients, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, help to fight inflammation and improve the skin’s lipid barrier. These essential fatty acids also contribute to the skin’s elasticity and moisture content and help with skin repair.


Foods rich in Omega 3 are oily fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Fish oil, fish oil supplements and algae also contain Omega 3s. It’s recommended to eat oily fish twice a week to ensure a sufficient amount of Omega 3 for your health. So, when should you consider taking an Omega 3 supplement? If you don’t eat oily fish two times per week and want to ensure a sufficient amount of Omega 3 for optimal health – that’s when!

Healthy fats with Wellness by Oriflame

Ever since the beginning, Wellness by Oriflame has been dedicated to provide the highest quality nutritional products available.

Omega 3

Wellness by Oriflame’s Omega 3 supplements provide kids and adults with healthy fish oil (including the essential long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA. The fish oil is sourced from sustainable fish stocks, and is certified by the Friend of the Sea organization that ensure sustainable seafood products. The fish oil goes through a 5-step refinement process to ensure a high quality and clean product. Both the kids and adult formula is all fish. The adult capsule consists of fish oil in a fish gelatine capsule. Taken alongside a balanced diet, regular intake of an Omega 3 supplement helps to support overall health and well-being, including maintenance of the normal function of the heart*, vision** and brain**.

Focus on the unsaturated fatty acids in your diet and especially the essential Omega 3 fats!

*The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of EPA and DHA.
** The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA.

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