Most healthy fats and oils are classified as 4e or 5e foods, apart from avocado, which is 3e. They are all high energy density foods but they contain less than 20g of saturated fat per 100g, and also contain important nutrients. All the foods in this group are eMarked blue which means they will give you long-lasting energy.
They include vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil; nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts; and seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Fats and oils play an essential role in the body, helping with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, K - and fat-soluble antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene. However, high levels of even healthy fats and oils in the diet can cause obesity, increasing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers.
The main types of fat are polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans-fats. Healthy fats and oils predominately contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, macadamia nuts and almonds. Monounsaturated fats decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol but have no effect on HDL cholesterol, which has a protective effect against heart disease.
Polyunsaturated fats also decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and have an additional positive effect by increasing HDL cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats can be further divided into the omega–3 and the omega–6 families.
Omega-3s are thought to have a positive impact on your heart health and play an important role in brain and eye function. Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are a good source of omega-3s, but they are also found in walnuts and some oils like soybean and rapeseed.
Omega-6 fatty acid is required for proper functioning of skin cells. Good sources of Omega-6 are sunflower seeds, soybean and corn oils.
Some examples of serving size of healthy fats and oils are as follows.
|Food item||eMark||Serving size
|Almonds||5e blue||Small handful (20g)|
|Avocado||3e blue||1/3 avocado (50g)|
|Oil, Canola||5e blue||1 tablespoon (13g)|
|Sunflower Seeds||5e blue||Small handful (22g)|
Find out how many servings of healthy fats and oils are in your recommended eMark meal plan