Apr 12, 2008


FAT is a word that most people will squint upon hearing the word. But there are so many types of FAT that many do not realise which is which. When you buy margarine, oil based canned food like tuna, creamed soups, biscuits and others, how often do you read the label? It is a good habit to look at the label. It is not about being afraid to put on weight but it should be more like a guide to healthy eating and knowing what you put into your body. An average daily or recommended amount of fat is about 30 to 35%. This roughly makes up an average of 80-75gms of fat. If the intake is higher than that, the chances of heart disease and breast cancer becomes more prevalent.

What are the different types of fat in summary that is evident in foods?

Saturated Fats
Polyunsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated Fats
Essential fatty acids

The two fats to watch out for are Saturated Fats and Trans-fats.

Saturated fats are like animal fats such as butter, lard, fats in cheese, also found in some vegetable like coconut and palm. You don't really need to eat them because our body manufactures its own saturated fat. Ideal to cut down on saturated fats.

Trans-fats are the bad fats which is dangerous for a child's heart more than saturated fats. Best to cut down totally. These are mostly food that are manufactured in factory such as margarine. Read the label closely.

The rest of the differet types are basically from the source of food.

Polyunsaturated fats -
soya bean, corn, sunflower. Can be found in oily fish. This should be made as regular part of a child's diet

Monounsaturated fats -
olive oil, nuts and seeds. These are good fats that protect the heart.

Essential fatty acids -
omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that you read so much about in your powdered milk, fish, soya bean and walnut oils. Why are these good fats? Because they are the vital building blocks of body cells in brain and central nervous system tissue.

Cholesteral -
is apparent in your body already. You don't need excess from food source.

So, there you have it. Among the different types of fats, how many types are there are bad? You just need to know which fat to avoid. Make a good habit reading labels to see which fat is acceptable and which ones are not.

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