Can Food Fats Have A Detrimental Effect On My Health?

There are 2 kinds of fat that are present in our food – Harmful Fats and healthy fats

Harmful fats can have a detrimental effect on one’s health. Unhealthty fats are those of which are considered to have detrimental affects on ones long-term health and well-being. Saturated and trans -fats are harmful as they raise ‘LDL cholesterol’ levels in the blood, thus increasing the risk of coronany heart disease. Therefore it is much safer to consume foods containing unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which do not raise ‘LDL cholesterol’ and can be beneficial for health when consumed in moderation. Far worse are – ‘trans-fats’ as the human digestive system has difficulty breaking this fat down. Both fats are present in most processed every day common foods, thus consumers can easily become oblivious to how much bad fat they are really eating.

Saturated fats also referred to as ‘hard fats’ are present in:

  • Red Meat
  • Ghee
  • Lard
  • Coconut Cream/Oil

Including dairy produce such as:

  • Butter
  • Cheese (particularly hard cheese)
  • Milk

And in processed foods such as:

  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Pies
  • Pastries
  • Savoury snacks
  • Sausages
  • Burgers

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Trans-fatty acids: Commonly known as ‘trans-fat’ is a man-made oil through the processing and refining of vegetable oil. The artificial processing of vegetable oil – ‘hydrogenation’ makes the fat become more solid at room temperature thus it cannot be properly digested by the body. For example of how trans-fat cannot be easily digested; consider margarine, which has gone through the hydrogenation process – when examining its molecules under a microscope, the molecules in the margarine resembles those that are present in plastic!

Trans-fats can be found in:

  • Fast food (particularly deep fried)
  • Crackers  (manufactures use trans-fat to keep them crisp)
  • Baked foods – Pastries, Cakes
  • Pies
  • chips
  • Sauces
  • Instant noodles
  • Soups

What is my recommended daily allowance of fat?

The human body needs some fat in order to survive, and expert nutritionalists recommend that no more than 30 % of our daily calories should come directly from fat. Considering how much saturated fat is present in every day common foods – it is frightening to realise how the recommended daily amount can be easily exceeded.

What can I do to avoid harmful fats?

To cut down on your intake of harmful fats – the first step you can take is to avoid purchasing unlabelled produce such as take-away food and over-the-counter baked goods, thus enabling you to keep a check on the fat content and eat healthier and safer.

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