DIETARY IMPORTANCE OF FAT

1g of fat provides 9 kcal thus being high in calories many people eliminate fats from their diet. Trans fats are the bad type of fats that should be avoided as they negatively impact our health and have no nutritional value. Hydrogenated oils are actually the main source of trans fats in processed foods and thus should be avoided completely.

Apart from trans fats, there are unsaturated and saturated fats.

• Saturated Fats: Some studies claim that these fats raise blood lipid profile, lower LDL levels, cause inflammation and increase the risk of heart diseases. These fats remain solid at room temperatures and include sources like a fatty piece of lamb, beef, and dairy products like whole milk, shortening, cheese, butter, coconut and palm oils.

• Unsaturated Fats: They remain liquid at room temperature and are of two types: MUFA and PUFA.

• Monounsaturated Fats: These foods include olive oil, avocados, seeds, nuts, etc these help to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and also improve overall mortality.

• Polyunsaturated Fats: These fats are required by our body for various functions like blood clotting and muscle movement. Our body does not produce this fat, thus dietary consumption of PUFA is very important. Polyunsaturated fats are divided into 2 types: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

• Omega 3: It is beneficial for heart health, and the best sources include: soybeans, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, etc.

• Omega 6: Too much omega-6 causes inflammation while raising the risk for various health conditions.

Add fats to your diet to increase satiety, improve blood lipid levels, and maintain a healthy weight but choosing the right fat source is very important. Opt for oils like olive oil and avocado oil along with nuts and seeds and while shopping always read the nutrition labels.

 

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