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)|