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Omega 3 & Omega 6 Fatty Acids - Fat Facts

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Fat facts / What are Good and Bad fats?
Fats are also known as:
Lipids
Monounsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat
Saturated fat
From a calorie viewpoint there is no difference between monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat. ALL fats are high in calories.
 
Please do not avoid fats altogether! Fat is a nutrient that is necessary for health. As fat performs a number of essential functions in the body a fat-free diet is not recommended.
 
  • Fat is a major source of energy and also aids your body in absorbing fat soluble vitamins.
  • Fat is important for proper growth and development and for keeping you healthy.
  • Fat adds flavor and taste to foods and gives you satiety value
  • Fats are an important source of calories and nutrients especially for infants and toddlers.
  • Fats are known as triglycerides, both in food and in the body and they are the storage and transport form of fats.
Total fat consumption should be 15-30 per cent of total daily calorie intake. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat should account for a majority of this total fat intake, while saturated fat should make a very small part of this total.
 
Fat Facts
Saturated Fat Is The Main Dietary Cause Of High Blood Cholesterol
Saturated fats are firm at room temperature and are found mostly in foods from animal sources and a few plant sources. Foods from animal sources that are rich in saturated fats include beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, pork, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole and 2 percent milk. All these foods also contain dietary cholesterol. Foods from plant sources that contain saturated fat include coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (often called tropical oils), and cocoa butter.
 
Fat Facts
Is Butter Better Than Margarine?
Because butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, it's potentially a highly atherogenic food (a food that causes the arteries to be blocked). Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol but they contain Trans-fatty acids (TFA). However, the more liquid the margarine, i.e., tub or liquid forms, the less hydrogenated it is and the less TFA it contains.
 
Fat Facts
Hydrogenated fats & trans fats
Fats like margarine and shortening are made of vegetable oils which have undergone a chemical process called hydrogenation. They contain a kind of fat called trans fatty acids (TFAs) which also raise blood cholesterol. TFAs are found naturally in small amounts in various animal products such as beef, pork, lamb and the butterfat in butter and milk. It appears that these naturally formed TFAs may not have the same effect on blood cholesterol as those produced by hydrogenation. The saturated fats & trans fat content of foods is printed on the Nutrition Facts label of packaged foods. Keep trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of total calories. For example, if you need 2,000 calories a day, you should consume less than 2 grams of trans fat.
 
How are trans-fatty acids harmful?
There are no labeling regulations for fast food, and it can even be advertised as cholesterol-free and cooked in vegetable oil. But, eating one doughnut at breakfast (3.2 g of TFA ) and a large order of French fries at lunch (6.8 g of TFA) will add 10 g of TFA to one's diet. So even if the food is advertised as healthy, dig a little deeper, and look at its ingredients. If ‘hydrogenated’ appears there, know that it contains TFAs and should be eaten sparingly
 
Polyunsaturated And Monounsaturated Fats Are The Two Unsaturated Fats.
These fats are liquid at room temperature and found mainly in fatty fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. Examples of foods that contain these fats include salmon, trout, herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.
Monounsaturated fat is considered to be the healthiest type of fat and the use of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat’s help lower your blood cholesterol level when you use them in moderation. Keep a total fat intake, maximum of 25 -30 percent of calories, with a major portion coming from fish and/or plant sources.
 
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fats are a kind of polyunsaturated fats. They have traditionally been classified as "essential fatty acids" because the body is unable to manufacture them on its own and because they play a fundamental role in several physiological functions.
 
What foods provide omega 3 fatty acids?
Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
 
Fat Facts
Sources of Good and Bad Fats
A few sources of good & bad fats with the serving sizes and their yield (Fat foods lists)
Good fats - sources of MUFA, PUFA & Omega 3 fatty acids
Good Fats Serving size Amount of Fat
Canola Oil 1 tsp 4.5g
Almonds 6 nos 4.5g
Avocados 2 Tbsp 4.5g
Olive oils 1 tsp 4.5g
Cashews 6 nuts 4.5g
Peanuts 10 nuts 4.5g
Safflower oil 1 tsp 4.5g
Pistachios 16 nuts 4.5g
Soya bean oil 1 tsp 4.5g
Salmon, trout 1.5 oz 4.5g
Walnuts 2 whole or 4 halves 4.5g
Sunflower oils 1 tsp 4.5g
 
Bad fats – sources of saturated & trans fats (Foods Rich in Fats)
Bad Fats Serving size Amount of Fat
Butter 1 pat or 1 “ square 4.06g
Cream 1 Tbsp 4.5g
Ghee 1 tsp 5g
Mayonnaise 1 tsp 4.5g
Croissant small 1.5 oz 8g
Haldiram snacks 2 Tbsp 5g
Bacon 1 slice 4.5g
Sausage break fast 1 oz 8g
French fries 1.3 oz ( 38 g) 6g
Peanut butter 1 ½ tsp 4.5g
Creamy Salad 1 tbsp 5g
Mittai’s 1 “ square 7 – 10g
Pork Mutton & Chicken 1 oz 8g
 
Fat Facts
Use Healthy alternatives, low amounts of fat and/or non stick cookware
(Sources of Good and Bad fats – Fat foods lists)
Avoid this Substitute with this instead
Whole milk Skimmed milk
Margarine Light or fat free margarine
Mayonnaise reduced fat or fat-free mayonnaise
Cream cheese light or fat-free cream cheese
Regular cheese part skim or reduced fat cheese
Whole egg two egg whites
Whipped cream non-fat yogurt, or whipped topping made with skim milk
Ghee or butter Low fat butter
Ice cream Frozen dessert made with vegetable oil
 
Fat Facts
RDA of fat in the diet
(Good and bad fats amounts)
There is no definite amount or RDA set for fat After the age of 2 years everybody should eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Optimum levels of fat in the diet are given below:
  • Less than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat.
  • An average of 30 percent of calories or less should come from total fat.
  • Dietary cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg a day.
Other recommendations for good and bad fats amounts include:
  • 10 percent or less of total calories should come from polyunsaturated fat intake
  • 10 to 15 percent of total calories should come from monounsaturated fats.
Is there a minimum need for the different kinds of fats?
You need a minimum of 10 to 20 percent of your overall calories as fat according to the Food and Agriculture
Organization/World Health Organization.
 
Fat Facts
Calories from FATS
Age /person TOTAL CALORIES CALORIES FROM FAT GRAMS OF FAT TSP OF FAT
Active adult male 2,500-2,000 750-900 83-100 17-20
Adult male or active female 2,500-2,000 600-750 67-83 13-17
Adult female or elderly male 1,500-2,000 450-600 50-67 10-13
Dieting adult or elderly female 1,000-1,500 300-450 33-50 6-10
 
Fat Facts
Good and Bad Fats in Meal Planning: A few suggestions:
  • Choose fish, poultry, and lean cuts of meat with the fat and skin removed before cooking. Eat no more than 6 ounces per day or substitute vegetarian sources of protein for animal sources several times a week. Good sources include lentils and beans including soybeans
  • Broil, bake, roast, steam or poach foods rather than fry them.
  • Cut down on high fat processed meats
  • Limit organ meats such as liver
  • Use skim or low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt.
  • Use all fats and oils sparingly. Use liquid or soft tub margarines or vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fats like canola and olive oil instead of butter.
  • For dressings use no oil dressings or skimmed and low fat dressings instead of regular creamy dressings. Add condiments and spices like mustard, basil, ginger, garlic & cinnamon to increase flavor.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta made from whole grains.
  • Stay away from packaged and processed foods, such as pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, croissants, and muffins that are high in saturated or hydrogenated fats
  • Limit commercially fried foods, baked goods, shortenings as they will have lots of hydrogenated saturated & Trans fats which can be harmful.
  • Always read food labels. Look for the “Nutrition Facts” on the label and choose products that are lowest in fat and saturated fat. Also avoid products that list hydrogenated fats high on the ingredient list.
  • If you know you have a family history of Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease and you find yourself gaining weight, then it is recommended you address the issue of eating a more balanced diet. One that is rich in fruits and vegetables but lean in fats and oils.
Let our NutritionVista.com dietitians work with you in adjusting what you consume so you can balance your food intake with the calories you burn.
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