Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fats- some facts

Fats is one of the essential nutrients required by our body. Here is quick view about what fats in the market are all about.

Vegetable oils- these are liquid at room temperature like til/sesame, soyabean, nariyal/coconut, sarson/musturd, sunflower, Jaitoon/olive, mungfali/peanut

Animal fat- fish oil, butter and ghee (yes, all dairy products are included in animal products)

Hydrogenation- a process by which liquid oil is changed to solid fat. Basically turns it into trans fat or 'bad fats'. Please avoid as far as possible. These include Dalda, vegetable ghee, margarine

Saturated fats- These are present in animal fats or made from vegetable fats by the hydrogenation process. eg. Ghee/clarified butter, butter, dalda, vegetable ghee(made by hydrogenation), margarine

Unsaturated fats - These are liquid at room temperature. eg. vegetable oils or fish oil

Monounsaturated fat- It's a good fat. Try looking for MUFA on the pack. It helps in controlling blood cholesterol levels.

Polyunsaturated fat- It's a good fat. Look for PUFA on the pack.

Cholesterol- It is present naturally only in animal fats. Our bodies make cholesterol by using the fats eaten.

Hydrogenated fat: Made from hydrogenation process. To avoid as much as possible and eliminate from our diet.

Omega-3 & omega-6 - these are polyunsaturated fats. Good for health when taken in the correct ratio of 3:1. Sources of omega-3 are:fish oil, chicken, eggs, oily fish, leafy vegetables. Sources of omega-6 are:oils like corn, sunflower, safflower

How to choose the packaged foods from the market shelf has become a tedious task with the numerous varieties available these day at the supermarket. 'What to eat' by Marion Nestle is hailed to be a guidebook of the food aisles. I came to know about it in the post by fooducate.

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