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What Do I Need to Know About Fat?

The whole issue of fats has become very confusing. Not least because there are so many different types of fats, or lipids:

Saturated fat, Poly-unsaturated fat, Mono-unsaturated fat, Trans-fats, Cholesterol, High-density lipoprotein, Low-density lipoprotein, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats.

What you need to know about fat:

  • We need some fat in our diet, otherwise we cannot absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K.
  • In particular, certain types of fat – essential fatty acids – are vital for good health.
  • However, the average US and UK diet contains too much total fat and too much saturated fat.
  • All fat contains 9 calories per gram – over twice as many calories as carbohydrates. Not good for weight loss!
  • One type of fat – saturated fat – is associated with increased rates of heart disease and stroke. This is found in animal products, like meat & dairy, and is solid at room temperature.

Bottom line: For optimum health and weight loss, we need to reduce our overall fat consumption to a sensible level, and restrict our consumption of saturated fat to a minimum.

A good start is to read all food labels very carefully and choose foods with less fat.

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