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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

almonds, hazelnuts, peanut oil, and peanut butter.

Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, sunflower oil, olive oil, safflower oil, avocados, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut oil, and peanut butter.
Polyunsaturated fats are those that have more than one double bond between the carbon atoms in chemical structure. These are liquid at both the room temperature and the lower temperatures. These fats are also good for the heart. The linolenic and linoleic acid are the polyunsaturated fats that are vital for the control of blood pressure, clotting of blood, and the defense of the body against diseases.

Polyunsaturated acids are found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Examples of some rich sources are the canola, corn, cottonseed, soyabean, and sunflower oils. Sardines, salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are also rich in polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are other rich sources.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are the linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that is important for several body structures and functions but needs to be consumed in the diet as the body is incapable of producing it. These have many health benefits and are found in abundance in fish.

Omega-3 fats are found in fish like salmon, sardine, tofu, tuna, and mackerel. The soy based foods like soybeans and soy nuts are also rich in polyunsaturated fats. Besides these, green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, walnuts, and legumes are rich in omega-3 fats.

Harmful Dietary Fats
The saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol are the harmful fats consumed in diet.
The saturated fats are those that have all the carbon atoms linked to hydrogen in the chemical structure. The hydrogen atoms, thus saturate all the carbons in the structure and leave no carbon atoms free to form any double bonds. Thus, there are no double bonds in chemical structure. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Also called animal fats, the saturated fats are derived mainly from animal sources and are not healthy for the heart and the health in general.
Saturated fats are abundant in animal foods like animal skin, eggs, whole-fat milk and cream, butter, and high-fat cheese and meats. Ice creams are also rich sources of saturated fats. Besides these, some plant sources also contain saturated fats. These include the plant oils like palm oils, kernel oils, coconut oils, and cocoa butter.
Trans fats are those that are created by adding hydrogen to liquid fats to saturate them and make them solid at room temperature. This is done in industrial chemical processes in food manufacturing.
Trans fats are found in muffins, cookies, crackers, French fries, dough nuts, and fast foods. Fried foods and oily snacks are rich sources of trans fats.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in animal products. Our body makes cholesterol in the liver. Cholesterol is an important component of various hormones, vitamin D, and bile in the body. Bile is a juice produced by the liver for the absorption and digestion of fats from food. Cholesterol circulates in blood in various forms. The LDL makes the bad cholesterol and HDL makes the good cholesterol.
Cholesterol is found in animal foods like eggs, meat, butter, lard, and other dairy products. Cake, cookies, muffins, and other foods that contain lots of fats are rich in cholesterol.

Daily intake
The right balance of fats in the diet helps to keep good health. The total fat intake should not exceed 25-35% of the total calorie intake in one day. The saturated fats should be less than 7% and trans fats less than 1% of the total daily calories. Rest of the fat intake should comprise the mono and polyunsaturated fats. The amount of cholesterol intake per day should be less than 300 mg. Those who have heart disease should still lower the daily cholesterol intake to 200 mg in a day.
Nutrition is the nourishment your body cells receive for its survival, growth and maintenance. You get this nourishment from the food that you eat.  Food plays a very important role in preventing diseases and also in managing diseases effectively. So, stop from merely satisfying your taste buds and learn more about how you can make the most from your food.
Understanding calories
A calorie is simply a unit to measure energy.
The food that you eat supplies your body with energy to carry out all the body functions. Even when you are resting or sleeping, organs like your heart and brain function non-stop. So, energy is required all the time to keep your life going. This vital energy is provided by the food you eat and is expressed as calories.
Each food has different calorie content. The calories that you get by eating 100gms of baked beans are not equal to that you get from 100gms of roasted nuts. That is not all. Apart from the food type, the quantity of food, and the process used for cooking, all contribute to the caloric content.
Counting calories
Counting calories does not mean that you have to literally weigh the caloric content of all that you eat. It means that you need to have a fair knowledge on the caloric content of the foods that you commonly eat. By knowing this, you can make wise choices to keep yourself healthy. If you eat more than what is required for the activities you do, the excess calories that are not used up gets stored in the body as fat cells for future usage. The gradual accumulation of these fat cells make you obese and you become prone to diseases such diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol.
To avoid all the trouble, you should do a good balancing act of keeping yourself physically active and at the same time take calories just enough to fuel the activities you do.
Calorie requirements differ between people. Some require less and some more. The requirement not only depends on the physical activities you do, but also on your age and sex .
In addition to providing energy, your food performs a great deal of other functions. Important nutrients that your food provides are macronutrients.
Macronutrients in your diet
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are called macronutrients. They are tagged with the word ‘macro’ as they have to be taken in large quantities as compared to other nutrients.
Your body requires energy to function. It is not only that while working you require energy, even at sleep, your heart, kidney, brain and other vital organs work non-stop. So, your body requires a continuous supply of fuel. The carbohydrates in your food provide this fuel. Fats and proteins also provide energy but, it is best for your body to get at least half of its energy requirement from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are available in three main forms- simple sugars, starches and fibers.
Simple sugars are carbohydrates in simple form, made of only one or two units of glucose.  They are digested fast. Simple sugars are naturally present in foods: as fructose in fruits and honey, lactose in milk, sucrose in table sugar or cane sugar, and as maltose in grains. It is also added to food at the table or during processing and packing. Added sugars are found in sweetened beverages and baked products. While added sugars supply energy, they do not provide any other nutrients as natural foods.
Starches are also called complex sugars as they are made of several units of glucose linked together. As they have to be broken down to simpler forms before absorption, energy release from them is slow and steady. Along with energy, they also provide you with vitamins, minerals and fiber which are all good for your health. Foods containing high amount of starch are rice, grains, potatoes, lentils, seeds, and nuts.
Fiber is also a form of complex carbohydrate. It comes exclusively from plants. Fiber cannot be digested by your body, but is utilized for other purposes.  It aids in easy stool formation and helps your digestive system by preventing constipation.  A fiber rich diet helps in preventing you from getting heart problem and some cancers, particularly cancer of the large intestine. It also helps in controlling blood sugars in diabetes and lowers blood cholesterol. Foods containing high fiber content: fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, seeds and   nuts.
Proteins are a vital part of all the cells in your body.  Proteins repair and replace the body cells that are constantly worn-out throughout life. The enzymes, hormones and antibodies in your body are all proteins. Enzymes control the speed of thousands of biochemical reactions that occur in your body and hormones regulate reactions. Antibodies protect your body from diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.
Proteins also provide energy to the body when you do not take adequate amounts of carbohydrates and fats. When you use protein as a body fuel, you will be compromising yourself on the other vital benefits that proteins provide. So, see to that you make the maximum use of the proteins by taking adequate quantities of carbohydrates and fats.
Proteins are found in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products such as yogurt and cheese. Vegetable sources are soybeans, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and grains.
All the news that you have been hearing about fats these days might have scared you. A sweeping statement like ‘fats are bad’ cannot be made as they serve several important functions in your body. Fats are an important source of calories next to carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrate or protein that we consume contribute 4 calories of energy whereas, fats give more than double the amount of energy for the same weight.
Fats are important for our health. It carries fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K in the blood and distributes them to different parts of the body. Without the help of fats, these vitamins cannot travel in blood. Fats help in the growth and maintenance of healthy skin. It also keeps your hunger under check as it takes longer time for fats to get digested than carbohydrates and proteins. Body fats provide cushioning effect to vital organs such as heart, liver, stomach, protecting them from injury. It also forms a layer under your skin to insulate your body from heat and cold.
Good and bad fats
Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are fats that increase the level of ‘bad cholesterol’ in your blood which not good for you. Therefore you should limit the intake of foods that have high content of these fats. Examples of such foods are: “Hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils, vegetable shortenings, stick margarine, deep fried foods, palm oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, coconuts, red meat, the skin from chicken and other birds, butter, whole milk and whole milk products.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are found to protect your heart. Foods containing these fats are avocados, olives, certain nuts, olive, canola, and peanut oils, corn, sunflower, and safflower oils, fish like salmon, trout, and herring, flaxseed oil. Include these foods in the diet.
Daily requirements of macronutrients
Find below your daily requirements of macronutrients for a healthy life.
  CarbohydratesGram/day ProteinsGram/day Total FibreGram/day
Adult male 130 56 38
Adult female 130 46 25
 Your fat consumption per day should be limited to less than 35% of your total caloric intake. In this, not more than 10% should come from saturated fats.
Time to Start
Having known the facts, don’t wait anymore to make the beginning to make wiser food choices. Whatever your age, anytime is a good start. Include food items from all the nutrient groups to get a balance diet. All nutrients are equally important and getting them in right amount is the key to good health.

Tips for eating healthy fats
It is important to watch the type and amount of fat intake. Most of the fat intake should be in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils. Unhydrogenated oils should be used for cooking. These include oils like the canola, sunflower, safflower, and olive oils. Soft margarines should be preferred over the hard ones. Fried foods and cakes, muffins, pies, and pastries have trans fats and should be avoided. One should control the amount of saturated fats in diet. Fast foods should be avoided. The only way to good health is to have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. One should check the labels for fat composition of food products. The choice of right fats can make your diet healthier and more enjoyable.


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