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A Guide to Fats!


The whole fat debate is one of the most misunderstood areas of human nutrition and has caused a lot of confusion over the years. Everyone seemed to think fat intake was the major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, heart disease and high blood pressure. It isn't, but it's no wonder some people are confused and still steering clear of fats in droves!

Of course, we're not suggesting we should all go out and consume high-fat junk foods at will. Like anything, fats should still be eaten in moderation, and there's one baddie we're giving the flick altogether. Here's a quick quide.


Polyunsaturated fats.

Where to find it: There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, along with flaxseeds and walnuts. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in oine nuts, pistachios and raw sunflower seeds, as well as refined corn and soybean oil.

Why you should eat it: Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve a number of cardiac functions, including preventing (and even treating) heart disease, reducing blood pressure, raising HDL and lowering triglyceride levels. Omega-6 fats play an important role in stimulating skin and hair growth, brain development and maintaining reproductive health.

Consume with caution! A common dietary error that can have significant health consequences is an unhealthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, specifically, the regular overconsumption of omega-6 fats compared to how many omega-3s you are eating. You want to focus on eating fewer omega-6 rich foods, which will naturally happen when you eat less processed food and more real food.

Omega-6 fats also come with health risks related to inflammation. So for similar omega-6 benefits from alternative food sources, try calcium-packed offerings like dairy for healthy hair and skin, antioxidant-rich foods to promote the growth of healthy brain cells and a diet rich in folic acid, zinc and iron to keep you reproductively healthy.


Monounsaturated fats.

Where to find it: Get your monounsaturated fat fix from olive oil, macadamias and avocados.

Why you should eat it: A diet rich in monounsaturated fats comes with multiple health benefits. These include reduced risks of cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as the possibility of weight loss.

Consume with caution! Monounsaturated fats can become unstable if heated to high temperatures. This increases the chance of them unloading toxic chemicals and free radicals, which could cause damage to your cells if consumed.


Saturated fats.

Where to find it: In dairy and animal products, like butter, meat and eggs, and our personal favourite, tropical oils like coconut.

Why you should eat it: Saturated fat helps us absorb minerals and fat-soluble vitamins, promotes bone strength, boosts immune function and is crucial for our cell structure. It also helps fill us up, reducing our risk of munching on unhealthy snacks between meals. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats can also help lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad type).

Consume with caution! As fat is an extremely energy-dense source of all the macronutrients, too much of any of it (saturated included) can lead to weight gain.


Trans fats.

What is trans fat? Trans fats are created when some types of polyunsaturated fats are damaged due to heats. They are found mainly in processed foods, especially deep-fried foods, processed cakes, biscuits and muesli bars and foods with long shelf lives. Some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat. But most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.

This partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn't have to be changed as often as do other oils.

Trans fat in your food: The manufactured forms of trans fat, is found in a variety of food products, including:

  • Baked goods - Most cakes, cookies, pie crusts, and crackers contain shortening, which is usually made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Ready-made frosting is another source of trans fat.
  • Snacks - Potato, corn and tortilla chips often contain trans fat. And while popcorn can be a healthy snackm many types of packaged or microwave popcorn use trans fat to help cook or flavour the popcorn.
  • Fried food - Foods that require deep frying - french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken- can contain trans fat from the oil used in the cooking process.
  • Refrigerator dough - Products such as canned biscuits and cinnamon rolls often contain trans fat, as do frozen pizza crusts.
  • Creamer and margarine - Nondairy coffee creamer and stick margarines also may contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Avoid at all costs! Trans fats are extremely bad for you and have been linked to a variety of health issues, including an increased risk of cancer. Choose to eat real food as often as you can and limit the food you eat from packets. That way you will naturally pick good fats, and avoid poor quality ones such as trans fats. And always read the nutritional content!!


Why Are We Different?

Mint Health & Fitness  for want of a better word is a "boutique" fitness and food facility.  We have fantastic personal trainers, nutritionists & clean eating cafe that all work together to make sure that your experience at Mint is unlike any other health a nutrition facility. 
The Mint experience is something that we have found hard to describe, but our members all say the same thing, friendly staff and atmosphere with helpful instruction.  
This obviously isn't it all, we have PURE Cafe with it great selection of healthy nutritious food, but to find out for yourself what our difference is come on down and talk to the team.
We are a friendly bunch at Mint and will gladly show you around and tell why we are proud to be a Mintie.
P.S. Ask about a free trial workout just to see if you like us. One of our team may even be able to help with a one on one workout if you are newbie exerciser (we don't want you to hurt yourself).
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I felt determined when I joined Mint. I have lost approx. 15 Kgs since my heaviest and about 1.5Kg in the last 2 weeks, I am now eating 8 times a day and I feel that what I am doing is working for me. It was hard to stay away from those salt and vinegar chips and keep up with the frequency of meals but I am getting there. I originally went to Jane when I first started and struggled with the food (salads are just not for me) but we found some alternatives which works. Having the BIA’s done with Jane has been great to see the results. Also, I have learned about food composition and eating clean.
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I was hopeful joining Mint and I feel that I have made a steady improvement throughout my time at Mint. Jane has helped me control my blood sugar levels and they are better than ever. Jane provided great advice and tips.
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Making the decision to join the gym was actually pretty hard. I was going through a particularly stressful time. The results I feel the most are: I wasn’t necessarily focused on aerobic health when I started but I feel much fitter and that’s a lovely feeling. I’m fitting into some older clothes – very gratifying. But the most important result is that I am in control of my choices. I’m doing the best I can to take care of myself. I feel more confident in the face of other challenges. So if I had to say what the number one result of my time at Mint is, it’s mental. I have a completely different relationship with exercise, which has become something I enjoy doing because it clears my head and makes me feel good about myself. I enjoy being in my body; I feel proud of what it can do. This has been an incredibly valuable experience – and one that’s ongoing, which is cool as well. I’m looking forward to what comes next! Wendy and I thought to tell you how much we miss Mint now that we are on 6 months in Heidelberg Germany after our three months in Christchurch. We have found a gym here that is very well equipped but it is VERY German and some of the classes look like torture rooms!
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December 21 we finally go back to Vancouver and resume our normal life. I very much appreciate the two back workouts you gave me and I am still doing them, alternating several times a week. They are the best I have ever had and I have had great back health since working with you. I very much thank you for that. Best wishes from your Canadian fan club - congrats on the new gym and good business to both of you.
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Having battled multiple heath issues and as a busy Mum of three young adults, a chance conversation led me to the team at Mint. Nutritional advice was just the beginning! I began Reflexology with Emma, Carole’s massage as well as a totally personalised gym program on a one-to-one basis with Mike. I cannot adequately convey the impact of encouragement, support, genuine interest, as well as the wonderful facilities that Mint provides as I literally claw my way back to health. The whole body approach of health and wellness at Mint is truly unique. With the addition of Pure Cafe Co. enabling you to put a foot in the door to this amazing setup that is Mint Health and Fitness.
I joined the Mint fitness gym in December 2013 because being a bus driver I needed a way to keep fit and keep all my joints moving. I find it really easy to go because it’s just across the road from where I work. They say a healthy body helps towards a healthy mind and so it helps with all the stress of everyday life and the stress that comes with driving around the city all day everyday. The team at Mint, Mike, Gabby and Bonnie are really friendly and help with anything you need while you are there. The changing rooms are always clean and tidy and well looked after. There is also a Cafe in the same building which serves healthy food to complement the exercise. I joined for 3 months and in conjunction with my own cycling am enjoying working out to the program Mike has set up for me. The 24 hour access, its great for the weekends and after work and also means I can go and work out when it suits. I really love it – Mint is great.
I joined mint as this year I am working in a third world Country which has a high level of security risk and a demanding physical environment. The team at Mint listened carefully to what I was needing and tailored an exercise and nutrition programme to get me to the physical condition I need to be in. You are not just another number at mint, they genuinely care about you and your goals. You always feel welcome and always have advice. I love how you can get a bite to eat after a work out, the time savings are so helpful. This is the best gym in the city, and the tuna wraps are fantastic!"
When the quake shook everything up, I unwilling distanced myself from MINT, lost my ‘work out mojo’. It wasn’t until late 2013 that I got back into training. From this unplanned break I can see first-hand how much better I feel psychologically and physically from training. BUT the thing that makes MINT the place for me is that everyone gets to know you. If you are self-guided training (me presently) or getting one on one personal training, MINT’S care and attention is what makes it. The team pay attention to how often you show up, Mike and Di show a personal interest in my Progress, I feel spurred on by this. You cannot underestimate the power of someone noticing you’re not at the gym!! My journey this time is a more driven one. I know how easy it is to ‘slip’ out of habit. And I know for me, MINT is the place to achieve my fitness goals.
Before Mint I weighed 78kgs. I’d been overweight since childhood and was a comfort eater. Never played any sports or been into any sort of exercise. I was scared of joining a gym. I remember telling myself there was no way I could ever be a person who was into working out and healthy eating because it just wasn’t me. Six months later and 20kgs lighter, I’m now the person I thought I'd never be. I’m so happy with who I am now and for the first time ever, I can say I truly love myself. I really don’t believe that I could have achieved so much success without all the wonderful people at Mint supporting and motivating me 100%. Joining Mint has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Emma M

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