Why you should mind your fat intake

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Why you should mind your fat intake
Why you should mind your fat intake

Africa-Press – Liberia. Normally, doctors advise that eating the right quantity of the right fats is essential for a healthy and balanced diet. Healthy fats are nutritional and vital for healthy eating. They are also necessary for boosting immunity, regulating hormones, among other benefits.

However, Janvier Rusizana, a general medic at Clinique La Triade in Remera says limiting fat intake is essential for everyone regardless of whether they want to lose weight, lower blood cholesterol levels, or simply eat healthier.

To understand fat intake, it’s ideal to understand that during digestion, fat is broken down into smaller units called fatty acids, he says. These include essential fatty acids like omega-3, which the body can’t make itself. It also helps the body to absorb vitamins A, D, and E. Any fat that’s not used is converted into body fat.

He goes on to mention that there are two types of fat found in food; saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Too much-saturated fat in the diet can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.

Saturated fats are found in ghee, butter, fat cuts of meat, bacon sausages, and cheese among others. On the other hand, unsaturated fats can be found in olive, peanut, avocados, nuts among others.

Meanwhile, the average man should aim to have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. For women, it should be no more than 20g of saturated fat a day. And children should have less. Reasons for staying away from fats

According to Gerald Luzindana, a nutrition and wellness expert, too much fat in the diet, especially saturated fats, can raise one’s cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. He says it’s advised that one cuts down on all fats, and replace saturated fat with some unsaturated fat.

Fats are high in calories, and consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese increases our chances of developing many common diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. However, reducing overall fat intake, as well as choosing the right fats to eat is important as far as staying healthy is concerned.

In fact, it’s evident that a gram of fat has about 9 calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein has about 4 calories. In other words, one could eat twice as much carbohydrates or proteins as fat for the same amount of calories.

Rusizana says that some fatty foods such as bacon, sausage, and potato chips have fewer vitamins and minerals than low-fat foods. “Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can lower blood cholesterol and help to reduce risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats usually come from plant sources,” he says.

He goes on to note that substituting saturated fats with Omega 3 fatty acids can also be helpful. This is because they help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Private Kamanzi, a dietician and nutritionist says one should aim at eating two portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oil-rich fish such as sardines, mackerel, or salmon.

Also, he says one should consume plenty of lower-fat plant-based foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), as well as limit meat intake. Alternatively, he says you should use beans and lentils as a low-fat, cholesterol-free protein source at meals instead of animal protein.

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