Good or Bad Fat?

Limiting fat consumption is strongly recommended given today’s lifestyle. What is the reason for this? Simply put, fat - which includes oil - is a food ingredient on top of the food pyramid that is recommended to be consumed only in small amounts. However, current fat consumption is more than the recommended nutritional balance which is 20-30% from total daily calories intake. Long-term excessive fat consumption will impact on the occurance of degenerative disease, such as hypertriglyseridemia (high level of trigliserida in blood), hypercholesterolemia (high level of cholesterol in blood), narrowing of blood vessels, coronary heart disease and stroke. Conversely, a very low fat consumption is not good also because it limits calorie intake to the body. Fat produces 8 calories/gram, whereas carbohydrate and protein produce 4 calories/gram. Fat also functions as a solvent for vitamins A,D,E, and K. Fat has positive and negative effects, every one should consume it properly.

Why does fat consumption increase without us being aware of it? The reason is because fat has an effect on food flavours. Food with a high ingredient of fat has a tender and delicate texture as well as a more savory taste. Foods with high fat ingredient are more readily sold in the market simply because its more delicious in taste, which in turn increases its economic value. For consumers such as us, adopting good diet habits including limiting fat consumption, will inevitably help maintain our health.

Foods which contain fat can easily be found in various foods, one example is oil content in fried food. Fat is also found in meat, fish, poultry and nuts in varying amounts. Thus, it is recommended to reduce food intake with high fat content such as the consumption of deep-fried foods.

Cholesterol is a fat that can only be found in animals; not in plants. Nevertheless, the consumption of vegetables that contain a high amount of fat will increase cholesterol level in the blood. The reason is because naturally, the body will create cholesterol to be utilized as an energy source, to produce hormone, to create cell structure and to perform many other functions. Cholesterol is produced in the liver from fat content that has already been consumed, both in animals and vegetables. Therefore, if too much fat is consumed, the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver will increase causing hypercholesterolemia.

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