There are many reasons to cut down on your fat intake – Britain has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world which is caused by clogged arteries which in turn is linked to fat consumption. If the arteries in the brain become infected rather than the heart the output is a stroke, for reasons not understood high fat intake is linked to some Killer Cancers like Breast, Prostate and Colon.
The problem is that most of the fats that we eat are wrong, butter, cream, meat fats, hard cheese, sausages, pates, pastries and cakes are all extremely high in saturates that increase cholesterol and block arteries.
Vegetable oils such as olive oil, corn and sunflower and oils from fish like salmon, mackerel and herrings are safe and can even be beneficial.
Fat how is the most concentrated form of energy, containing weight for weight more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or protein. Dietary fat is easily converted into body fat and then stored as excess weight which is on the increase where 1 in 3 adults are now overweight.
Most of us would probably benefit from cutting down on all fat but no one should try to avoid it completely. Fats and oils are needed to make hormones and for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. We also need to obtain some essential fatty acids from our diet as they can not be made in the body and as everyone knows fat is flavor and gives us the feeling of fullness.
The best advice is to keep a watch on the over all amount of fat you eat and substitute animal and dairy fats with vegetable and fish oils.
Saturates and Unsaturates
What is saturates and unsaturates and how much of each should we eat.
Most of the fats in your body and in your food are made up of compounds called fatty acids which are basically chains of carbon atoms which may or may not be chemically bonded to hydrogen atoms fatty acids are said to be prescribed if they contain as many hydrogen atoms as possible. If one or more pairs of carbon atoms are free (not completely bonded to hydrogen atoms) the fatty acid is said to be unsaturated – if just one pair is free it is said to be monounsaturated if several pairs are free it is polyunsaturated.
Fats in food
The fats and oils that we eat all contain a mixture of fatty acids. Hard fats like butter dripping and hard margarine contain more saturates and soft fats like oils contain more unsaturates. Foods high in saturate include meat, most dairy products, animal fats and palm and coconut oil. Olive oil, rapeseed oil, peanuts and avocados are rich in monounsaturates while sunflower and corn oil, oily fish and nuts contain polyunsaturates.
Your Heart Health
As far as your heart and circulation are concerned, saturates increase blood cholesterol and both monounsaturates and polyunsaturates help reduce it.
Poly or Mono
The only fatty acids you really need in your diet are two polyunsaturates called essential fatty acids, all the others can be manufactured in the body even if you eat no fat or oil at all. Even so there is no reason to eat large quantities of polyunsaturates AND WHY a very large intake of polyunsaturates may be correlated with an increased risk of cancer
Monosaturates however appear to have a purely protective effect and should make up most of the fat in your diet. Fish oils are the major source of the two fatty acids that we need and both belong to the family known as omega 3s which counteract heart disease and may treat certain inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, you will get all the polyunsaturates you need from a varied diet including nuts, seeds, cereals, lean meat and green vegetables.