Fats are essential for health

Although many diets would have you believe otherwise, fats are essential for health.

Fats are also an important source of energy, support cell growth, and are essential for your body to absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones. Our research also shows that having fat in a meal can help to control your blood sugar response.

Most importantly – fats enhance flavor, add texture and make a meal taste great!

Your body needs fats and there are many healthy sources which you can eat while controlling your blood fat levels.

Why are you getting alerts about the fat you are eating

We give you alerts about the amount and type of fat you are eating to help you limit harmful dietary inflammation in your body.

Certain fats as well as too much fat, can cause dietary inflammation. If this inflammation is too high or lasts too long it can increase your risk of developing health problems (including heart disease or diabetes), and it may also make it more challenging for your body to manage weight.

You can keep dietary inflammation from fat in check by keeping an eye on:

  • How you sequence your fats throughout the day
  • The amount of fat you eat
  • The quality of fats you choose

How you sequence your fats is important

Certain foods release fats that may cause more inflammation than others. We also know that on average it takes 6 hours for blood fats to clear after a single meal. Because most people eat every 4-6 hours, fat can build up in your body over several meals.

Controlling this build-up of blood fats can reduce dietary inflammation and is better for your long-term heart health. We give you messages about your fat intake to help you factor this into your meal planning.

How much fat should you eat?

The maximum fat anyone should have is 70g in 8 hours. However, your personal fat threshold may be lower depending the results of your blood fat control (estimated from your own blood tests or measured from your ZOE test) and the quality of fats you choose. High quality fats are those found in olive oil, nuts and seeds.

The ZOE app will remind you to keep an eye on your fats if you are coming close to your personal fat threshold.

Keep an eye on the quality of fats too

Poor quality fats can increase the likelihood of dietary inflammation, and in the long term, are linked with poorer health outcomes. You can learn about the quality of fats for all foods under the "Benefits for you" and "Weaknesses for you" sections when you select an item in the ZOE app.

What do I do if I get an alert about the fat I ate in a short period of time?

We've designed the ZOE app to help you learn to manage your diet for better health over time, and understanding about the sources of fats in your diet can help you do so.

If you get an alert, try some of the following suggestions:

  • You could choose foods with lower amounts of fat for your next meal
  • You could also delay your next meal, to allow fat from your previous meal to clear
  • Use the app to identify and learn about the sources of fat in your logged meals to start applying these insights over time.
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