Are All Fats Bad For You?
Fats had gained a bad reputation over the years and is thought to be the number 1 reason for obesity. Contrary to common belief, consuming certain types of dietary fats is healthy. However, too much fat intake, especially from the bad ones can lead to health complications. Let’s go over the types of fats and how you can become a “Fat Detective”.
What Are The Different Types of Dietary Fats?
There are 3 types of dietary fats:
1- Saturated Fat (bad fat): It is found in animal products like meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, coconut oil and palm oil.
2- Trans Fat – (very bad fat): This one is made when liquid vegetable oil is transformed into a solid fat. It is found in processed foods like cookies, biscuits, pastries and crackers.
3- Unsaturated Fat – (good fat): It is found in fish, shellfish, avocado, nuts and oils (vegetable, sesame, canola, olive).
So, What Is The Role Of Dietary Fats?
Fat is a nutrient needed to supply the body with fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K. Fat also acts as a great source of energy and gives you the feeling of fullness when eating.
Consuming too much saturated fat and trans fat can lead to increased “bad” cholesterol levels – LDL; causing heart problems. Consuming unsaturated fat, on the other hand, reduces the risk of clogged arteries and other associated health problems.
How Much Fat Do I Need?
According to The American Heart Association, it is recommended that healthy adults consume on average between 25%-35% of calories from fat each day or 40-60 grams total fat per day. About 10-15 grams of total fat per day should come from saturated fat. Try to choose items with zero trans fat. In general, no one should consume more than 35% of calories from fat per day.
Where Is Fat Hiding?
– Processed cheese and cheese spreads.
– Processed meats: ham, bacon, hot dogs, sausage, deli meats.
– Sauces and condiments: ketchup, mayonnaise.
– Baked foods: patisseries and cakes.
How Can You Make Lower Fat choices?
Try cooking with little or no fat; bake, broil, roast or grill rather than fry. Make sure you read food labels; as a guideline trans fats and saturated fats should not make up more than 10% of your daily calories.