There is a lot of talk about good and bad fats, but it’s not quite as simple as that. What you do need to know is that it’s all about balance: between saturated and unsaturated fats. We need to eat less saturated fat, and a little more unsaturated fat.
Current UK dietary guidelines recommend that the majority of our fat intake should come from heart-friendly unsaturated types.
Walnuts are rich in this kind of fat – especially the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). A 30g handful of these nutritious nuts provides a generous 17.2g of unsaturated fat. In other words, 83% of a walnut’s fat content is unsaturated. That means that when you eat walnuts in place of another food that’s high in saturated fat (e.g. chocolates), they can help to lower cholesterol levels too.*
When it comes to unsaturated fat, omega-3 is definitely a key one to include in your diet. There are three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA (both of which come from animal sources) and ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid), which is found in plant-based foods.
As your body cannot make ALA itself, it’s important to get it from your diet. Our bodies need omega-3 fats, including ALA, for everyday functions – including helping to maintain normal cholesterol levels, which is important for heart health. Enjoying a 30g handful of walnuts each day is a great way to get your omega-3 fix, as they are a rich source of ALA*.
* Walnuts are high in alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), which helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels as part of a balanced diet.
Walnuts are high in unsaturated fat. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in a balanced diet helps to lower our cholesterol levels, which is important for heart health.