WHAT IS DIETARY FAT?
The chief concern with dietary fat has been their role with promoting or protecting against coronary artery disease (heart disease).
There are 4 major dietary fats in food:
- Saturated Fat – these are usually solid at room temperature.
- Trans Fat – low levels of trans fatty acids occur naturally in some foods especially dairy and meats from ruminants such as cows, sheep, and goats. However, much higher levels of trans fatty acid consumption can occur because of the industrial partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids.
- Monounsaturated fat – are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats.
- Poly unsaturated fat – are typically liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Olive oil contains poly unsaturated fats. Oils rich in PUFA also contribute vitamin E, a much-needed antioxidant to the diet. PUFA are essential fats needed for many important functions in the body but cannot be produced by the body and so must be obtained from food.
HOW DOES DIETARY FAT HELP OR HURT?
Poly unsaturated fat
“WHY” IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
IF YOU DO NOT REQUIRE SPECIFIC DIETS FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS, then keep reading the following tips. Keep in mind that the type of fat is more important than the overall calories from fat, although, general rule is still moderation is key.
- Limit consumption of processed foods
- Eat unprocessed red meat in moderation ~1-2 portions/wk.
- Limit your intake of trans fats by avoiding foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils e.g., deep fried fast foods, commercially baked goods, stick margarine.
- Increase consumption of foods rich in healthy fats including nuts, avocadoes, fish.
- When fats are needed for cooking, spreads, sauces, dressings, and other uses, uses plant oils from fruits, seeds, and nuts with high amounts of monounsaturated and/or poly unsaturated fatty acids, especially n-3 polyunsaturated fats, including canola oil, soybean oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Do not assume that “low fat” or “fat-free” varieties of packaged and processed foods (e.g.,snack foods, salad dressings etc.) are healthier or better as they could contain refined starches and added sugars which have been associated with higher triglyceride -rich lipoproteins and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels as well as increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity.