Directory: What’s the skinny truth on fats?

Fats: We need to know the truth aboutfats and nutrition. We need to separate fats facts from fat fiction, truth from foodindustry hype, and eat nutritionally sound diets. Low-fat diets are not the whole story.

What’s the Skinny Truth on Fats?

By Rob McLean

A "Fat" Directory The Skinny on Fats Americans are obsessed with fat: eating fat, loosing fat, finding fat on our bodies, avoiding fat, sneaking fat or being fat or not fat. Some body and dietary fats are good for you, really! You need them in your diet for health! But not as much as Americans must think judging from the way we eat! More Skinny on Fats Researchers studying the Mediterranean diet for clues to the low incidence of heart disease in the region, and the longevity of Mediterranean people, now believe that credit should go to the low intake of animal fat and the extensive use of olive oil, and olive oil’s high monounsaturated fat content. The Bad-Guy Fats Saturated fats, those that come mainly from animal sources and certain tropical oils such as coconut and palm, are usually solid at room temperature. The liver uses saturated fats to manufacture cholesterol, a fat-related substance. The more saturated fat in the diet, the more cholesterol your liver will produce. The more cholesterol your liver produces… The Really Bad-Guy Fats The hydrogenated fats, although not saturated, act like saturated fats in our bodies and can do as much, or maybe even more, harm. The food industry is our friend and our foe. In my opinion, it is more foe than friend, however, when it does things like include hydrogenated fat in our foods, then promote those same foods as healthy. The Good-Guy Fats The good news is that fats do not have to disappear from your diet forever. Some body and dietary fats are really good for you! You need them in your diet for health! The good-guy fats are good news!!! The Really Good-Guy Fats Certain fatty acids are vital for good health and cannot be manufactured by the body. These are called essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids fall into two categories: omega3, linolenic acid, and omega6, linoleic acid. These good fats do a lot for you. Fat is MORE Fattening All calories are not created equal. This means that fats we eat are more fattening. If you think of burning energy to convert calories to body fat as a conversion cost, fat has a lower conversion cost. RDA for Fats How much fat should we eat? Surprisingly, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for fat. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research writes, "We know that as little as one tablespoon of vegetable oil a day provides our needs for essential fatty acids." Hydrogenated Fats Baked goods like cookies and muffins: buy them from the supermarket, they almost certainly have hydrogenated fat. Make them yourself, using margarine, they have hydrogenated fat. Make them yourself using liquid canola oil: no hydrogenated fat. Hydrogenated Fats: Technical Hydrogenated fats are oils that have been processed through a chemical hardening method to achieve increased plasticity (stiffness) of the liquid oils at room temperature. Partial hydrogenation (brush hydrogenation) hardens oils but does not make them fully solid. Full hydrogenation requires complete conversion of a liquid oil into a solid fat at room temperature Read Between the Lines on Labels Is there truth in labels? When it comes to listing fat on food labels, manufacturers are required to only list total fat and saturated fat. Some also voluntarily list monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, but it’s unlikely you’ll see trans fat listed. 95% Fat Free: Truth in Labels Or should I say: Not quite-the-truth labels. The FDA allows the food industry, particularly the meat and dairy industry, to engage in what, in my opinion, is misleading advertising. So you know what "95% fat-free" ham means? Do you know how much fat is in 2% milk? How Much Fat Should You Eat? Although there is some controversy over the subject, the most liberal allowance I have read for fat is 30% of your daily calories in fat of all kinds. That doesn’t mean you can pig out on meat, chicken, ice cream, cheese and other dairy products, however. Because every recommendation I have read in the last year states: Only 10% or less of your calories should be in saturated or hydrogenated fats. And many authorities, such as Dr. Dean Ornish, recommend no saturated fats. Yes, we need fat in our diets. No, we don’t need any saturated fats!….continued

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It should also be noted that the average dairy cow requires more than 4 litersof water for every liter of milk produced.

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