Although fats have earned a bad reputation of causing weight gain and other ill effects, some fat is essential for survival. Out of the total calories, 20-30% should come from fat. Here are some interesting Fats & Oils Facts.
Fats & Oils Facts
- The biggest problem with food today is that a high amount of fat is used for cooking.
- No fat or oil is “totally safe” or can be consumed in unlimited quantities. Any fat or oil you eat (healthy or unhealthy) is a dense source of calories.
- All vegetable and seed oils are “cholesterol free”. Cholesterol is present only in animal food.
- A blend of two or more vegetable oils should be used in daily cooking.
- Deep or shallow fried food should be avoided.
- If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you should restrict your total fat intake to about 25g(5 tsp) of visible fat/day & if you are involved in hard physical work, you should restrict total fat intake to 35-40g (7-8 tsp) of visible fat/day.
Unsaturated fat found in many vegetable oils and seeds do not raise the blood cholesterol levels and have a protective effect on the heart. Even though considered healthy, healthy fats are still high in calories. They can be made part of a healthy diet, as long as you do not exceed your total fat allowance.
Monounsaturated fats (MUFA): Decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol
Sources: Avocado, olive oil, groundnut oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, nuts, olives and sesame seeds
Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA/ OMEGA-6): decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol and improves insulin action.
Sources: Safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, soybean oil, groundnut and sesame oil.
Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA/ OMEGA-3): Reduces Triglycerides and stickiness in blood.
Sources: Soybean, canola/Rapeseed and mustard oils, pulses like black gram, kidney beans & cowpea, mustard and fenugreek seeds and fish like Mackerel, Sardines, Tuna and Salmon.