Fat is important for health, and thinking of it to be either a friend or foe would be extreme. The answer of how much fat to consume is somewhere in the middle💛
Know the kind of fat consumption -they could be broadly classified into1️⃣ Saturated fats 2️⃣ Unsaturated fats 3️⃣ Dietary cholesterol and 4️⃣ Trans fat.
An easy distinction between the two widely used fat sources is that saturated fat is solid at room temperature 🧈 (some examples would be ghee, butter, coconut oil, etc.) while unsaturated sources of fat are liquid💧 (examples of which would be olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, etc).
👉🏼 Our body needs saturated fats for physiological functions but makes more than enough to meet the needs meaning there is no dietary requirement for consumption of saturated fats. Intake of saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of daily caloric intake. The foods rich in saturated fats are those containing meat and cheese like pizza, burgers, sandwiches, etc and so watching the portion size is important.
👉🏼 Strong and consistent evidence shows that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like those found in avocado and olive oil is associated with reduced risk of CVD. ✨Therefore, saturated fats in the diet should be replaced with unsaturated fats when possible for better health as recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans(DGA)👍
👉🏼 Cholesterol is an essential component of cell membrane and necessary for structural integrity of cells. But since our liver can produce it in ample amounts dietary sources of cholesterol are not necessary. Hence, DGA recommends to limit consumption to <300 mg per day or as little as possible. Animal foods like dairy, eggs, poultry, and meat are the rich sources of dietary cholesterol.
👉🏼 Trans fat is the manmade version of synthetic fat. The good news is in 2015 FDA recognized that trans fat is not safe and has made it mandatory for the food industry to remove partially hydrogenated oils in margarine and other packaged foods. So hopefully we do not need to read labels for trans fat anymore.
👉🏼 In summary, consume fat primarily from unsaturated fat sources like avocado and olive oil and lesser saturated fats and dietary cholesterol since our body can make those and no trans fat for optimal health!❤️
That was lot of info, some new and some you already knew. Stay tuned for my next post on cooking oils!