Know Your Fats
There are 3 types of fats in the food we eat namely Saturated Fatty Acid (SFA), Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA) and Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA). All food fats contain a combination of these fatty acids.
- Saturated Fatty Acid (SFA):
Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature. Egg yolk, meat, butter, margarine, hydrogenated fat, dalda, coconut oil, palm oil, whole milk and its products, bakery products made from any of the above are good sources of SFA. High intake of SFA increases plasma cholesterol.
- Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA):
These are mainly from plant sources and are found in olives and olive oil, peanuts and peanut oil, canola oil, almonds and avocados. MUFA may lower blood cholesterol when substituted for SFA in the diet.
- Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA):
All vegetable oils like sunflower, safflower, corn, cotton seed, soyabean, mustard oils and fish oil are good sources of PUFA. PUFA are known to reduce blood cholesterol.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is not fat, but closely related to fat, is neede for the functioning of the body. It occurs naturally in all animal food. Good sources are egg yolk, organ meats such as heart, brain, liver, red meats(mutton, beef, and pork), whole milk and its products – cream, Cholesterol is absent in egg white and all plant food. Cholesterol level in the diet should not exceed 300mg.
What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are the main form of fat in the body. When you think of fat developing and being stored in your hips or belly, you are thinking of triglycerides. Triglycerides are the end product of digestion and breaking down of bulky fats. Any extra food we eat that’s not used for activity is also chemically converted into triglycerides. These are transported through the blood proteins called lipoproteins. Then they are taken up by adipose (fat) cells, to be used for energy if food isn’t available later.
Let’s Look into Lipoproteins:
- Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL):
This is the main carrier of cholesterol ans is called bad cholesterol as it promotes lipid deposition in tissues including blood vessels.
- High Density Lipoprotein (HDL):
HDL clears cholesterol from the blood and tissues and delivers to the liver where it is processed for excretion and is therefore known as good cholesterol.
It is desirable to have higher HDL and lower LDL cholesterol in blood.
How should your Diet be?
A well balanced diet to lower serum lipids and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease should be:
- Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
- High in poly unsaturated fatty acid and fibre
- Normal protein, mineral and vitamins
- Adequate calories to maintain ideal body weight
Dine Healthy Dwell Happy!!