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Watch Out for Hidden Fats

Reduce the total fat in the diet is a point that can be found in every dietary recommendation that has been published for North Americans over the last 10 years. We are eating too much fat and it´s not good for our health. When it comes to the foods we eat there are two different types of fat - visible fat and hidden fat. No, this hasn´t got anything to do with magic, but rather what you can see on your plate and what you can learn from a package label. A pork chop with a wide strip of white fat at the edge, bacon that is more white than red, a large pat of butter on your peas, the oil that you combine with vinegar to make your salad dressing are examples of visible fat. They are there on your plate easy to see, and, for the health conscious consumer, they are easy to avoid. It is not so simple for the hidden fats.


Many prepared foods that we eat contain fat in quantities higher than we realize. They are in there; you just don´t see them. If you are the adventurous type and have ever made a pie or cookies "from scratch" or on the more exotic side, if you make your own salad dressing, you know that the recipes call for lard, butter, margarine or vegetable oil. All are fats, and even though the final product may not look like it, they are high in fat. In the grocery store it is best to check the product label. You may be surprised. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity in the food so you can tell if the food you are eating is high in fat. The calorie value that appears in the nutrition information section of the label will also give you an idea of the amount of fat in the food. High calories usually means high fat.

Yes, some fats are better than others and we all need fat in our diet to live, but generally we need to cut back on our total fat intake. Fats provide almost twice as many calories as an equal weight of protein or carbohydrate (sugar). The calories count and so, anyone wishing to reduce their caloric intake must be on the look out for both visible and hidden fats in their diet.

Some Foods with Visible Fat
Food grams of fat per 100 grams of food
pork chop: 24.9
butter (salted): 81.1
bacon (pan fried): 49.2
Some Foods with Hidden Fat
Food grams of fat per 100 grams of food
doughnut: 22.9
chocolate chip cookie (regular): 22.6
cheddar cheese: 32.6
french salad dressing: 41.0

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