Don’t be Afraid of Having Some Fat in Your Diet
Fat is becoming accepted as a healthy part of a balanced diet these days. The reason why fat was shunned by health-conscious people in the past was mainly because it’s the main cause of increases in cholesterol. And while cholesterol can cause strokes, heart disease and heart attacks, the body needs fat to survive.
Most of the substances classified as fats contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat is the cause of increasing ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. The ‘good’ HDL cholesterol has a positive effect on the body. It takes an overage of cholesterol in the body to the liver, where it’s disposed of.
The Body Needs Fat
Doctors and dieticians are now recommending limiting foods we eat that contain saturated fat and trans fats, or replace them with foods with unsaturated fats, rather than cutting them out altogether.
A small amount of fat is necessary in our diet. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body can’t create itself. Fat also helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamins are fat soluble, so some butter or olive oil drizzled over vegetables containing these vitamins actually helps the body get more of the nutritious value of these foods.
Moderation is Key
Moderation is the key to regulating the amount of fat in our diet. It’s generally recommended that adult men and women should not eat more than 20 grams of saturated fat a day.
What does a gram of fat look like? One-quarter of a pat of butter contains one gram of fat. Use this to roughly estimate the fat content of your diet, and you should get in the habit of reading the ingredient labels on the food you eat. You’ll start eating healthier and stay within the recommended fat intake.