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The facts on fats.

Fats are an essential part of diet. There are basically saturated fats, trans fats, and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are usually associated with negative health effects, including heart disease while unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) can actually lower the risk for some diseases, including heart disease. Consider some important facts about fats:

1.Too much fat in one's diet can raise the cholesterol level which increases the risk of heart disease.

2.. The good fats are not just good for the heart but also for the brain, especially polyunsaturated fats which contain omega-3s.

3. As a caution, we should cut down on foods and drinks which are high in saturated fats and trans fats and replace these with foods that contain unsaturated fats.

4. Cutting down on fat doesn't always lead to weight loss. Cutting down on calories and increasing exercise are more important.

5. Fats help the body absorb vitamins A, D, and E which are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed with the help of fats.

6. Fats are a known source of energy, together with carbohydrates and proteins, the other two main macronutrients.

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats are good for cutting the risk of heart disease. There is evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol. They are found primarily in oils from plants and include olive oil, rapeseed oil , avocados and some nuts such as almonds and peanuts.

Food examples: Almonds, Vegetables, Fish, Olives, Olive Oil.

Benefits: Works in conjunction with saturated fats to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Raises good cholesterol levels.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats are found in many foods, both sweet and savoury. Most of them come from animal sources, including meat and dairy products, including meat and meat products, sausages and pies, butter, cheese, cream, soured cream and ice cream, savoury snacks and chocolates, biscuits, cakes and pastries, besides palm oil and coconut oil.

Food examples: Beef, Butter, Pizza, Ice Cream, Lard.

Benefits: Saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis.

Trans fats

Trans fats are found naturally in some foods, like those from animals, including meat and dairy products. Trans fats can also be found in hydrogenated vegetable oil which is used for frying in fast-food outlets.

Food examples: Cookies, Doughnut, Cakes, Fries, Hydrogenated Oil.

Benefits: None

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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