Nutrition 101 - Dietary Fat
Dietary fat is necessary for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins D and A. Fat also promotes satiety (fullness), good taste and texture.
Two Types of Dietary Fat:
I. Saturated Fat (includes Trans Fats)
II. Unsaturated Fat
- Mostly from Animal Products
- A few plant sources: coconut &/or palm oil, chocolate
- Solid @ Room temp
- Most artery clogging
- Saturated Fats increase LDL cholesterol
- Trans Fats increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
- Monounsaturated: Olive and Canola oil, nuts, avocados, olives
- Omega 3s—Fatty fish, fish oil, soybeans, tofu, walnuts, flaxseeds, canola oil, found to have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Omega 6s—Abundant in Western diets, mayonnaise, salad dressing, corn oil, excessive amounts are pathogenic.
- Research recommends higher ratio of omega 3 compared to omega 6.
- Both omega 3 and omega 6 are essential for human function.
- Mostly from Plant Sources
- Liquid @ Room Temp
- Less Artery Clogging
- Can decrease Total and LDL Cholesterol
How much dietary fat do I need?
- Fat= 9 Calories per gram
- Recommended Percentage of Daily Caloric Intake = 20-30%
– For example: A daily caloric intake of 2000 calories should include between 400-600 calories from fat.
– Reduce intake of foods high in saturated fat
– Eliminate or greatly reduce foods with Trans Fat
– Choose low fat alternatives
– Consider healthy fat alternatives (click here for a chart with healthy alternatives)