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Gone are the days when the notion was that all fat is bad. If this still rings true in your approach to what you eat, it’s time to start thinking differently about what you consume. You may be missing out on essential fats critical to your wellbeing. So instead of writing off all fats, Patrick suggests understanding the differences.

To put it simply, there are two kinds of fats – saturated and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat is the hard fat found in meat and dairy products, which is neither essential nor good for your health in high amounts.

Unsaturated fat, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (Omega-3 and Omega-6), are not only vital for good health but is also more varied in its sources. Common signs of a deficiency in unsaturated fat are dry skin and a weakened immune system.

“These essential fats are easily destroyed by heat or exposure to oxygen, so having a fresh daily source is important. Processed foods often contain hardened or ‘hydrogenated’ polyunsaturated fats. These are worse for you than saturated fats and are best avoided,” says Patrick.

In fact, many of these ‘hydrogenated’ fats get in the way of our ability to use good fats.

“These stop the body making good use of the small quantity of essential fats that the average person eats in a day,” he adds.