Fat keeps the body warm, protects internal organs, and stores energy for emergencies. It is also the basis for cell membranes and a very concentrated source of kilojoules (twice as much as protein and carbohydrates per gram).
Tips for Daily Diet Plan
Overall, a healthy diet will provide about 25-30% of your daily kilocalories from fat, which is a moderate, though not ultra-low-fat diet. This compares to a typical Canada diet that is 32% fat. However, when it comes to fats, some are beneficial to your health, some are not, and the important thing is to know what sources to choose and how much to consume.
Know your fats
All fats are a mixture of three types of fatty acids: polyunsaturated, saturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are very important for the fluidity and normal functioning of our cell membranes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids include linoleic acid (found in safflower and sunflower oils), fish oil, and seed oils. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and oils derived from these sources. A healthy diet should include small amounts of fat from lean meats, poultry, oily fish (such as salmon), and low-fat dairy products.
Another type of fat that we hear a lot about these days is omega-3 fats. It is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that plays an important role in healthy brain development and heart health. It plays an important role in every cell, tissue, and organ in the body.
There are two types of omega-3. The short-chain ones are known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and come from plant sources (such as green leafy vegetables) and chia seeds, while the long-chain ones are known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Recipe rich in omega-3
Another essential polyunsaturated fatty acid that should be obtained from food is omega-6. You need to consume at least 1 to 2 grams daily of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that is involved in the normal functioning of skin cells and lowers cholesterol levels. Safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut butter, nuts and seeds are good choices.
- Manny advises, “When choosing fats, the best fats are unsaturated fatty acids that are soft or liquid at room temperature, along with avocados, nuts and seeds.”
- Eating a variety of foods will also ensure that you are getting enough of the essential fatty acids needed for overall health.
- Recipe high in omega-6 fatty acids: Breaded apple and rhubarb with honey, oats, and hazelnuts (members only).
Which fats should be limited?
Saturated fats are not really needed in the diet because the body makes everything it needs”. However, saturated fats should not be avoided altogether; this is not possible because all fats contain some amount of saturated fatty acids. However, butter, cream, lard, fatty meats and poultry add many extra calories to the diet and can raise blood cholesterol levels. Choose liquid oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and unsaturated fatty acid spreads,” advises Professor Knox.
Trans fats are monounsaturated fats, which act similarly to saturated fats, raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. They are found in trace amounts in beef and dairy products and were once found in margarine. However, Canada food manufacturers have eliminated them from their products. They were also once commonly found in commercial sweet breads, cakes, cookies, and other products.
Cholesterol is another type of fat that is not a source of energy, but is more like wax. It is everything the body needs to produce to make cell membranes, sex hormones, and bile acids. Cholesterol is found in foods such as meat and eggs, but in very small amounts.
Sara is a qualified food expert at Main food line, Canada. She had graduated from the University of Cambridge. Sara loves to write about healthy nutrients which help to prevent the human body from various diseases. So people enjoy a healthy lifestyle. She is well experienced in apple crumble pie and has an impressive portfolio of serving international clients.