Dietary Fat: The good, the bad and the ugly

A Research Tuesdays Forum

Fats can be found in the majority of our foods, and most Australians are aware that limiting the amount of fat in the diet can minimise weight gain. However, there is confusion about which type of fat to restrict.

This is largely because none of the three main categories of fats – saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – are entirely good or bad. Some saturated fats raise blood cholesterol, while others don’t. Some monounsaturated fats that are found in olive oil are considered to be very healthy.

But it’s the polyunsaturated fats the cause the most confusion. The omega-3 fats and the omega-6, often directly compete with each other. While the omega-6 fats can lower cholesterol, they can also stimulate inflammation, and, some believe they may contribute to heart disease and premature birth. On the other hand, the omega-3 fates are anti-inflammatory and may support better heart health and pregnancy outcomes.

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In this special Research Tuesdays Forum some of Australia’s leading minds in the field will “set the record straight”, discussing the most recent and authoritative research into which fats we should eat and which we should avoid.

The panelists

Dr Robert Gibson is Professor of Functional Food Science at the University of Adelaide, a Fellow of the Nutrition Society of Australia and a Director of the International Society of the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. His research has been widely published and extensively cited by his peers.

Dr Maria Makrides is Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Adelaide and Director of the Women’s & Children’s Health Research Institute. She is a Director of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids and a member of the Nutrition Committee, Australian Academy of Science.

Dr Rosemary Stanton is an independent nutritionist, lecturer and prolific author. She is also a Visiting Fellow of the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, and a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Dietary Guidelines Working Committee.

Dr Stephen Nicholls is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Adelaide and Heart Disease Theme Leader at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute. He is a former recipient of the International Symposium of Atherosclerosis Young Investigator Award.

Kay Hannaford (Facilitator) is an executive coach and mentor. She has worked in the public sector, her own businesses, as a senior executive in a global company and as a Director on a number of Boards, including that of the Leaders Institute of SA.


When: Tuesday 9 July 2013, 5:30pm – 6:45pm

Where: The Braggs Lecture Theatre, North Terrace Campus


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