Fat is a nutrient that is a contributor to increasing problem of obesity in world today. It’s stored in fat cells of body. The number of fat cells is estimated to be around 50 billion for average person. It can be up to 100 billion for obese person.
Fat cells are like storage tanks of energy to be used for later use. It has been shown that obese people who binge eat may stimulate baby fat cells to sprout to increase number of fat cells they have.
Fats are found in foods such as butter, margarine, oils, fats, dripping, nuts and oil seeds. Research conducted indicates that good fats such as fish oils especially deep sea fish, olive oil, canola oil, avocado and nuts contain important fatty acids which if taken by people aged 65 plus reduced risk of a fatal heart attack by 44%.
Other names for fats include… Lard, animal shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, butterfat, whole milk solids, copra, tallow, chocolate chips, shortening, margarine, cocoa butter.
Now lets have a look at different types of fat. There are three types of fat to found in diet.
Saturated fats - are found mainly in animal products and do most damage and are most related to build-up of cholesterol in arteries. . Research has indicated that saturated fats in diet can increase LDL cholesterol levels in blood, which is unwanted cholesterol and should be avoided. The following foods contain this type of fat: Meat Dairy Eggs Cakes, biscuits and pastries
Monounsaturated fats - Monounsaturated fats help to decrease cholesterol and LDL levels in blood. The following foods contain this type of fat: Olive Oil Canola Oil Peanut Oil
Polyunsaturated fats - Polyunsaturated fats in small quantities can help to decrease total cholesterol. Examples of polyunsaturated Fats - would be vegetable oil and palm oil.
As pointed out before, consuming fats is major culprit that leads to fat being on human body mainly because fats are high in calories. I recommended that people eat less than 20% of total their total calories from fat.
We also know that eating too much fat leads to health problems and weight-gain, but we do need some healthy fats in our diet. Fats are a source of soluble vitamins A, D and E. Fats provide hormone production and skin health and protection of vital organs and insulation Too much fat in diet however, can increase risk of a number of lifestyle diseases that are common in western world
So Please… Limit saturated fats in your diet - which includes butter, cream, full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, cakes, pastries and fried foods.
Choose lean meats where possible and trim visible fat and skin before cooking Select low fat dairy products where possible
Be aware of hidden fats in processed foods and foods high in salt Choose liquid fats over solid fats e.g. olive and canola oil over butter
Include amounts of unsaturated or ‘good fats’ in your diet. Sources include fish, olive and canola oil, nuts and avocado
Also try to include good omega-3 fats daily – fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are good sources and try to eat three fish meals a week if you can.
Below is a list of fat substitutions that you can apply in your everyday diet whether it is at work, home, or dining out.
Current FoodChange to Cheese – High fat types…Cheddar and other hard cheeses.Lower fat varieties e.g. Edam, Cottage, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Gouda. Chips/French friesThick cut ‘wedges’ or oven baked chips ChocolateEat in moderation and buy best quality. Substitute jelly babies or other sugar treat. CreamReduced fat cream, use low-fat yoghurt or evaporated skim milk. Creamed SoupsCheck label for fat, use clear soups. Croissants, pastriesBagels, bread rolls, finger buns. CustardLow fat custard DoughnutsCrumpets, plain scones, raisin loaf. Ice CreamReduced fat Varieties. Meat (beef, lamb, pork)Lean beef, trim lamb, new pork or other 90%. Fat free cuts/mince. Muesli BarsCheck label for fat, buy breakfast bars, Power bars. PiesReduced fat pies, use filo pastry Potato CrispsPretzels Salad dressings – Mayonnaise, FrenchUse vinegar or lemon juice Savoury biscuitsWheat crisp bread Sweet biscuitsPlain biscuits wheat meal. TV mealsLower fat varieties (check label for fat).