Fat is a macro nutrient and is an important part of our diet. More than 60% of our brain is composed of fat. Fat helps in proper functionality of brains, joints and overall support system of our body. No, I am not going to take a science class today and I won’t bore you. However, its always good to know what you are eat and why.
When I started my health and fitness journey, there used to be a time I used to stay away from all types of fat. It is a calories dense substance and has 9 calories per gram. So, my impression towards fat wasn’t great. I used to think its bad for our health. I had no idea even fat can be good and bad. The idea is to eat it in the right proportion not to distance yourself from fat. Also, to understand the difference between good and bad fat.
Types of fats: Saturated and unsaturated (further divided into 3)
Saturated Fat: Also known as animal and dairy fat. Its usually found in Red meats, Milk and Milk products, Palm oil, Butter and Ghee (clarified butter). Fat present in dairy products are easily absorbed and promote good health in comparison to the animal fat. These can damage cardiovascular health when consumed in abundance.
Monounsaturated Fat Acids (MUFA): Its usually found in Almonds, Peanuts, Avocados, Rice bran and Olive. Though rice bran oil and peanut oil is more suitable to Indian cooking than olive oil due to their flavor and heating temperature. MUFA is important for maintain health of our heart, skin and hair.
Poly Unsaturated Fat Acids (PUFA): Omega 3 and Omega 6 are found in PUFA and have heart protecting values. Omega 3 is mainly found in Flax seeds, Walnuts and Fish oil. Omega 6 is found in Sunflower, Mustard and Soya bean oil. We should have right balance of Omega 3 and 6 in our right to promote good health.
Trans Fat: It is created by artificially converting unsaturated fat into saturated fat. Trans fat is usually used by restaurants, companies that produce large scale processed food and is used for commercial purposes since it is cheaper in comparison. It has a certain chemical property and is usually found in processed food like fried food, store baked cakes, pizza, cookies and other junk food. Trans-fat raises your bad cholesterol and is best to avoid them. Trans fat are responsible for increasing body fat, obesity, heart problem, blood pressure and the list goes on.
That’s why it is important to eat different variety of oil, to get the wholesome nutrients present in these oils.
Tips to Include Right Fat in food balanced diet the right way
- Include nuts, cheese, paneer and other dairy products in your daily meals.
- Limit deep frying item in your household, try find an alternate option like stir fry.
- Use different types of oil for cooking. For example, you can use Soya been oil or Rice bran oil in lunch and peanut oil for dinner or vice versa.
- Can make a whole some meal by just eating peanuts as an evening snack.
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