Fats as Foods

Fats should be selected using the first rule basic to a good diet, consume foods in their natural state, and not to eat excess calories, especially if aiming to lose weight, its important to remember that not all fats are bad, and you should aim to have around 15% of your daily calorie intake in the form of healthy fats, especially EFA', (Essential fatty Acids) Omega 3 Alpha Linolenic and Omega 6 Linoleic Acid.

The heating of any fat or oil speeds up the process of rancidity.

Read labels carefully and choose foods with lower percentages of fats.

Lean cuts of meat are more suitable than cheaper beef burgers or sausages.

Try to avoid adding fat to your cooking, grilling, boiling, poaching, steaming or micro waving instead of frying.

If you do fry, use a non-stick pan and as little oil as possible - oil sprays will greatly reduce the oil used - remember that tablespoon of oil contains around 130 calories.

Look at the natural fats that you consume like milk, cheese and butter, aim to choose a lower fat option i.e. skimmed milk.

When looking at consuming fats in your diet, look at healthier options such as fatty fish (salmon - trout - mackerel), using extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings. Foods such as olives - avocado - nuts - and seeds are all high in natural fats, so aim to consume these foods in moderation.

Poor quality fats are easy to recognize, as these are often the foods you want to eat, they will tend to go down easy, as the fat makes them both tasty and palatable. Avoid these types of fatty foods such as cream cakes - processed meats such as hot dogs - junky pizzas and cheap quality meats.

Low fat diets below 10% of daily calorie consumption should be avoided, as these will cause hormonal hunger cravings, due to high fluctuation in blood sugar levels, resulting in greater levels of insulin being released into the blood stream.

Look at getting 15 - 20% of your total calorie intake from healthy fat sources (those high in EFA's) aiming to avoid saturated and hydrogenated fat sources.

  • EFA's Fats are important carriers of vitamins A,D,E and K.

  • Very high or very low fat diets are not an effective method for weight loss in the case where there is excess body fat.

  • Deposits of fat help to protect body organs and provide insulation - excess levels of body fat will place body organs such as the heart under undue stress.

  • Fat helps to coat the nerves in a myelin sheath and protects the brain.

  • Fats have the lowest thermic effect of all foods - (easily stored as fat).

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