“I don’t eat butter, or any fat”
“I want to slim down, i can’t eat that”
“steaming all my food to avoid fat”
“Lemak ni, tak bagus, nanti gemuk!”
Have you ever heard something like this? We all have that thought at some point in our life, and we all believed it – fat is bad for us. While we heard stuff like olive oil is good for health, the rest of the fatty food group may still be a little confusing.
Now, did you know that fat is one of the MACRONUTRIENTS which means, we need to consume fat for a healthy body. Which is why I think it is so important that each and every one of us have a basic understanding of fats, so you know what to eat for yourself or prepare food for your family. Let’s look at some common questions people have about fats:
#1 So, does fat make us fat?
Nope, it really doesn’t!¹ Fear not of fats, because fat is our friend. The trick is to get to know them better!
Fats are super important for our body to function. Let’s look at the table below:
- Carry Vitamin A, D, E and K
- Make-up the brain tissues and nerve cells, as well as hormones
- Slows digestion, thus we feel full longer
- Reduce inflammations
- Boost Metabolism! That’s right!
- Decrease insulin resistance, therefore the risk of getting Type II Diabetes
- Helps curb depression.
DEFICIENCY or lack of fat
- Cannot absorb Vitamins properly
- Causes poor healing
- Causes high blood pressure
- Skin gets dry and flaky
- Causes Hair loss!
- Causes allergies
- Painful breasts for ladies
That’s right, fats actually do make us happy! (I know what you’re thinking, but read on) The World Health Organization recommends 20-35% of fats in our diet per day. So that brings us to the next question.
#2 So, can we eat all fats?
Before you fat lovers cheer and stuff your pantries with fat loads of food, you need to know that not all fats are made equal. Here’s the Rule of Thumb:
There are 4 main types of fats:
- Mono-unsaturated Fats (MUFA)
- Poly-unsaturated Fats (PUFA)
- Saturated Fats
- Trans Fat
Of all these 4, you should totally avoid the Trans Fat, and get more of the MUFAs and PUFAs.² That’s it. I list you the sources below, you can save it, print it, and stick it on your refrigerator 🙂
#3 Should I go low-fat?
There’s a lot of debate about this out there, probably because most people are not aware of what they do when manufacturers produce low-fat products. See, when they take the fats out, food manufacturers often replace the fat with carbohydrates from sugar, refined grains, or other starches. This is to improve the taste of the products. So many low-fat foods are high in calories and causes high insulin spike.³
I personally believe that food in their original form is best, so take it fresh!
#4 So can I eat a lot of fried food?
Hold on there. I know the fries and patties in the picture is making you drool, but deep fried stuffs are still a no-go, especially when it comes from fast-food or packaged-food. In fast food restaurants, they tend to use the cooking oil over and over again which will release free radicals and become carcinogenic. This brings us to the next point.
#5 Is all oil safe for cooking?
Last but not least, when choosing a fat for cooking, you have to consider the heat you are going to use. And this depends on the smoke point of the oil/fat. Smoke-point of oil is similar to the boiling point of water, it’s when oil becomes smoke. When this happens, they also release some other harmful chemicals. Refer the chart below.
*Sunflower & soybean oil have a high smoke point but are unstable because they are refined and in the process, they lose the nutrients and produced chemicals. Similarly with canola oil.
“fat isn’t the problem. Just your choices.”
- If you don’t believe me, that fat will help you burn fat, read these: Eat Fat to Burn Fat & This Study
- Just remember, Your Ma&Pa is great! But here’s some more details: The Type of Fat Your Eat Matter & The Good, The Bad, & In-between
- In the article here, it explains why low-fat food is not as good as we think it is. Have low-fat diets made us fatter?
- The importance of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Learn something new? Share it!