Food Containing Fat
Food Containing Fat – Although we tend to think that fat is always bad for our health, the fact is that we NEED fat for its essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins and, for the very young, concentrated calories. It also makes food taste good and has a pleasant ‘mouth-feel’. However, most of us would benefit from eating less fat and making sure that most of the fat we do eat is of the unsaturated variety found in vegetable oils.
We need only a small amount of unsaturated fat each day, around 30g, to enable us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, but we can ‘safely’ eat more than that.
The maximum amount of fat you need depends on your age, size and how active you are. But, for most sedentary adults to maintain a healthy weight women should eat more than 70g fat a day, and men 90g.
What is a portion of fats?
– 1 teaspoon margarine or butter
– 2 teaspoons low-fat spread
– 1 teaspoon cooking oil, fat or ghee.
What is a portion of fatty foods?
– 1 tablespoon vinaigrette (salad dressing) or mayonnaise
– tablespoon cream
– packet of crisps or other savoury snack
Other fatty foods include pastry, meat products, sausages, pâtés, fried foods and fatty bacon.
Why should you limit fats in a balanced diet?
Too much fat, and saturated fat in particular, increases the risk of heart disease by rising the level of harmful blood cholesterol. Cholesterol can build up in the arteries, slowing down the blood supply to the heart – or even cutting it off completely, causing a heart attack. Diets high in fat also increase the risk of some cancers.
Not all fats have the same effect. Saturated fats (from animal fats and hydrogenated vegetable fats) cause the most problems. Polyunsaturates (mainly from vegetable oils, except palm and coconut) are essential for health, and can help lower cholesterol levels. Monounsaturates (mainly from olive oil) seem to share the benefits of polyunsaturates. But all fats should be eaten in moderation.