Fat – friend or foe
ALL FAT IS NOT BAD. CERTAIN MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FATS NEED BE DISPELLED, SUGGESTS DR. MUSHTAQ CHALKOO
The myth that all fats are bad is not true. Some of us probably think that fats are bad for health, whether it is cooking oil, greasy chips or the blubbery bits on the meat. We believe that too much of fat would make us unhealthy, overweight and prone to all sorts of diseases from heart trouble to diabetes and cancers. But now after plenty of research,scientists are telling us that not all fats are evil. In fact some of them actually help fight the same diseases that we worry about.to make things even more perplexing experts also now warn us that young children actually need a proper amount of fat in their diet to ensure healthy growth and development.
Of course,breast fed new born flourishes on mother”s milk that actually contains 55% of calories as fat, and much of this is saturated fat, which typically would be considered the bad kind, but young children initially need this high level of fat to manage their growth spurts, energy and development. In addition to that, there are disease fighting properties in mothers milk. These fatty acids called lauric and caproic acids naturally boost immunity to all sorts of diseases. Let us understand that fat should not be restricted below two years of age, given the fact that 60% of brain is composed of fat, essential for learning abilities, memory retention and moods. Fats are important for cell membranes,hearts energy and for insulation of our nerves.fats help in maturation of lungs and prevents them from collapsing and also in vision. Well ,experts suggest that pre school age is the time that our children be put on some lower fat foods.
To accomplish this, we classify fats, as the good fats, the bad fats and the nasty fats. The good fats are actually good for health.they are unsaturated fats and are found in vegetables and plants, actually help fight the diseases that we fear are caused by excess fat in our diet.they are divided into two groups, mono, and poly unsaturated fats..monounsaturated fats help lower the damaging kinds of cholesterol, while boosting the helpful type of cholesterol, hence it prevents heart disease among other things.interestingly these fats help in weight loss too.they are found in olives,olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, canola oil and avocados.polyunsaturated fats are little trickier. Some research suggests that while they may reduce levels of bad types of colesterol,they may also reduce the good type needed by the body. They are found in,safflower,sesame,corn,cottonseed and soybeen ils,cold water fish,nuts soy, seeds, dark leafy greens. These are good source of omega 3 fatty acids which is an essential fatty acid, that our body must have as it is not produced in the body. Omega 3 fatty acid reduces blood pressure, fights diabetes and boosts our immune system. It also helps in prevention of depression,arthritis,asthama and colitis.the bad fats are heart clogging,weight gain inducing ones. They are saturated fats found in fatty red meat, butter, lard, full fat dairy products, like whole milk, yoghurt, and ice-creams, eggs and sea food. They are also found in coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil. It does not mean that all saturated fats should be removed completely from a persons diet but they should be served in healthy moderation. Lastly the nasty fats are the saturated fats manufactured by the people, of course. They are also called trans-fats created artificially when hydrogen gas reacts with oil. It is the chemical process that changes liquid oils into solid fats.they are found in packaged foods, including margarine, biscuits, popcorn, cakes, crisps, deep fried snacks and french fries. They are often used to increase the shelf life of food. If you check a food label, any thing that contains hydrogenated oil will likely have trans-fats.they are hard on our hearts, nervous system and waistlines. The current research concludes that the fat is our friend, if consumed in its right kind,right proportion and right way in balanced form in our day today diet.
(Dr.Mushtaq Chalkoo is Consultant Laparoscopic and Minimal Access Surgeon Govt. Medical College, SMHS, and associated hospitals Srinagar. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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