What if I told you that fat is a major contributor to the increasing problem of obesity in the world today. It’s stored in the fat cells of the body.
The number of fat cells is estimated to be around 50 billion for the average person. It can be up to 100 billion for the 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 the 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 the 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.
Lets have a look at the different types of fat. There are three types of fat to found in the diet:
Saturated fats - are found mainly in animal products and do the most damage and are the most related to the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.
Research has indicated that saturated fats in the diet can increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which is the unwanted cholesterol and should be avoided. The following foods contain this type of fat:
· Cakes, biscuits and pastries
Monounsaturated fats - Monounsaturated fats help to decrease the cholesterol and LDL levels in the 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.
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.
As pointed out before, consuming fats is the major culprit that leads to fat being on the human body mainly because fats are high in calories. I recommended that people eat less than 20% of total their total calories from fat.
Fats provide hormone production and skin health and protection of vital organs and insulation Too much fat in the diet however, can increase the risk of a number of lifestyle diseases that are common in the western world
So Please remember…
· Limit the 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 the 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 the 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.
Now that you are armed with this information, start checking what you are eating, firstly by checking the labels on all the foods that you consume.
Remember anything that has 5grams of fat or below is good and anything above this figure eat sparingly.