Learn about Cholesterol, Saturated and Unsaturated Fats in our Foods.

Diets that are high in fat may lead to obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Decreasing intake of dietary fat, especially saturated fat, can reduce the risk of developing these diseases. Some fat in the diet however, is essential; therefore is should not be eliminated completely.

Fat is present in a variety of foods including animal and vegetable products. There are 2 types of fat; unsaturated and saturated. Excessive intake of saturated fats is associated with high blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.

Cholesterol is a fat like waxy substance that the body needs for many important functions.  The body is able to produce cholesterol and does not require it from the diet.  Only animal products contain dietary cholesterol. Consuming excessive amounts can contribute to high blood cholesterol.  The intake of saturated fats, however, has more significant impact on blood cholesterol levels than cholesterol in the diet.

Sources of Cholesterol, Saturated and Unsaturated fats from our foods – few examples

Cholesterol (animal products) Saturated fats (animal and few vegetable products) Unsaturated fats (mostly vegetable products)
Egg yolk Creams Palm oil Liquid oils
Milk and milk products Poultry skin & fat Palm kernel oil Olives
Animal fat/lard/ rennet Bacon Coconut oil Nuts
Organs of cattle/meats Lard Cocoa butter Avocado
Beef/Mutton Margarine Milk fat Salad dressings
Poultry Butter Partially and full hydrogenated oils Low fat margarine/Spreads
Seafood Mayonnaise Shortenings & Ghee Seafood

For good health, limit total fat to 30% of calories, saturated fat to 10% of calories and dietary cholesterol to 300 mg daily.

Recommended fat & cholesterol intake

Daily Calories Fat (grams) 30 % of calories Saturated Fat (grams) 10 % of calories Cholesterol (milligrams)
1500 50 17 300
1800 60 20 300
2000 67 22 300
2500 83 28 300

About Abdul Quddus

• Abdul Quddus has been writing and presenting healthy articles since late 1998, mostly on subjects related to biotechnology, lipid sciences (fats & oils), healthy fruits & vegetables and value added products, • Having experience of 11+ years in Research and Development of food products, and Operations of Quality Assurance and Management. • International work experience in Multinational food groups. • Known as Specialist in Fats and Oils and its allied products. • Expert in Dry Food Mixes, Bakery / Dairy Ingredients and Nutraceuticals (Functional Foods). • Proficient in making Fruits & Vegetables value added products. • Good Sensory Evaluation and Tasting of food products (Trained/Expert workshop from 3 reputed organizations). • Strong academic background – M.Sc. Industrial Chemistry; Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology, Microbiology and Chemistry; Few Diplomas in Management Systems; and Attended more than 20 Training Courses related to Food formulation, processing, quality, safety,and testing/analysis. • Active and Senior member of few groups and associations.
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