Fat in the Diet
~ September 2001 No.130 ~
We all need fat to live. Fat is a source of energy and essential fatty acids provided by our diet. We can´t synthesize them ourselves. But consuming too much fat leads to many different health problems. We know that fruits and vegetables by themselves are low in fat, but what about the rest of our diet? In a normal diet what are the main sources of fat?
A survey carried out by Agriculture Canada provides some insight into where we are getting our fat from. The survey is a bit dated (1992), but the trends are probably are still true to-day.
|Source||% of total
|fats and oils:||31.0||butter, margarine, mayonnaise,salad dressing|
|bakery goods:||9.5||bread, rolls, cookies, cakes|
|fruits and vegetables:||2.0|
|dairy products:||12.0||cheese, ice-cream, yogurt|
|poultry and fish:||2.5|
|meat substitutes:||7.0||eggs, nuts, grains, peanut butter,beans|
|processed meat products:||11.0|
|meat:||8.5||beef, porc, veal, lamb|
|other prepared foods:||8.0||chocolate, etc.|
It would be impossible possible to cut out all fats and oils from the diet. Nor would it make sense from a nutrtion point of view. What the list does do, is to put various sources of dietary fat into perspective. For example, meat is often thought of as a major source of dietary fat, when in reality careful choice of cuts of meat and avoiding frying meat, can mean that meat can be included in a well balanced diet, without adding excessive fat. A few small changes in food choice and food preparation can make a major change to total fat intake.
|First Choice||Fat Content||Better Choice||Fat Content|
|fettucine Alfredo||15 g||pasta with meat||9 g|
|muffin||12 g||1 slice toast with butter or margarine||5 g|
|broccoli with cheese sauce||4 g||boiled brocoli||0 g|