We need fat for energy & to absorb Vit. A, D, E and K & carotenoids. When eaten in moderation, fat is essential for good health- and it’s especially important for children up to age of two.
Monounsaturated/Polyunsaturated Fat: - help to lower blood cholesterol if your meals are low in saturated fats. Contained in food such as Avocado, fish, nuts margarines & oils.
Saturated Fat: - Raise the blood cholesterol. Contained in some foods such as potato chips, manufactured cakes, biscuits, pastries, butter & dairy products.
The terms “saturated” & “unsaturated” refer to the type of molecules in the fat. Saturated molecules have all their bonds used up, so they are more rigid and stable. Unsaturated molecules have some open bonds, resulting in more reactive, liquid oil.
Cholesterol: - Is fatty substance produced naturally by the body and found in blood. LDL cholesterol clogs arteries & leads to heart diseases, while HDL cholesterol helps to unclog blood vessels.
Trans Fats: - Are like raise LDL cholesterol & lower HDL cholesterol. Contained in foods which use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable fats.
There’s global alarm over their heart-health effects. Here’s what you need to know about Trans fats in foods.
Tran’s fats, or Tran’s fatty acids, are s type of unsaturated fat that acts like saturated fats. That is they are bad for our health because they raise the level of “bad” cholesterol in our blood. Most of the Trans fats in our food- are created as by-products of the process called hydrogenation, where food manufacturers bubble hydrogen through liquid oils, turning them into solids to make cakes and pastries. This process improves foods shelf life, flavor and stability.
Why trans fat so bad for us? Trans fat is more dangerous than saturated fat- not only because it increases level of “bad” or LDL cholesterol in our blood, it has an ability to lower the concentration of “good” or HDL Cholesterol, which protects us against heart disease.
Denmark is the first country to legislate against trans fats in food, banning all products contain more than 2% trans fatty acids of total oil or fat in a food.
Do we know what they do to our Heart?? Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death globally. In most cases it is caused by condition called atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits build up on the walls of the arteries, causing them to narrow & interrupt the flow of blood to heart. The WHO says that to be healthy, no more than 1 % of our daily calories should come from trans fat & we should consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fats. It would be easiest thing in the world to get rid of the trans fat by switching palm oil- that has 50% saturated fat
Now concern about trans fat becoming such a high profile health issue that some Govt. are moving to ban them. That’s the one reason food industry also been proactive in reducing trans fat levels. It’s easy to use different oil for frying but not for biscuits & pastries. In Malaysia & Singapore, health awareness companies highlight the negative effects of trans fat.
Now the Question is can we minimize our own trans fat intake?? … Yes we can bring down the naturally occurring trans fats by trimming fat from meat & choosing lean cuts. Butter contains trans fats is also high in saturated fat. Steer clear of manufactured cakes & pastries, particularly chocolate biscuits & doughnuts, which have the highest level of saturated fats. Other way to staying healthy are to eat more fruits & vegetables, so you are less likely to eating bad fats. Also choose reduced-fat dairy products and try to avoid toasted muselis for breakfast. Restaurants & fast food chains can be healthy if you choose wisely. Deep fried foods may contain trans fat, especially if they came from a smaller chain or your local take away restaurant.
What fat we should use???
Experts recommend that you should use a variety of oils in food preparation, including canola, sunflower, soybean, and olive, peanut, sesame & grapeseed. You should avoid oils high in saturated/trans fat, including palm oil, tallow, lard, coconut oil/cream/milk (even reduced fat varieties), cream, butter, ghee, vanaspati & baking margarine. Stick to backing, grilling, or steaming rather than deep-frying.
Baking: - Use variety of polyunsaturated & monounsaturated oils and margarines, including those made from canola, oilive, sunflower, soybean, peanut.
Spreading on bread: - Polyunsaturated & Monounsaturated.
Salad Dressing: - Use sunflower, canola, olive, peanut, sesame or grapeseed oil.
Shallow/pan/stir-frying:- A variety of oils are suitable- including all those listed above.
Deep-frying is not recommended.
If you have high cholesterol, you would feel the same as if you had low cholesterol because there are no side effects, no symptoms of having high cholesterol.