Kate's Cuisine

Jun 12 2009

Fat

Ask any dieter what their biggest enemy is and they’re likely to tell you fat. True, fat can be a big problem, if there’s an excess of it and if it’s the wrong kind of fat. But fat is just another one of those macronutrients that no matter how badly you want to, you just can’t get rid of it once and for all.

Like its other disliked macronutrient, the carbohydrate, fat is an essential source of energy for us and can help us feel sustained in between meals and when we must go long periods of time without food. Fat also of course protects our bones and absorbs shock as well as insulates our bodies to keep us warm. But one of fat’s most surprising attributes is that although saturated fat can promote heart disease, unsaturated fats can decrease your chance of heart problems.

At least 20% of our energy each day should come from fat, and that number can go as high as 35%. It’s important to keep in mind though that only 10% of our intake should come from saturated fats such as potato chips, beef, pork, and butter. The remaining percentage should come from unsaturated fats only and these foods include vegetable oils, avocados, salmon, nuts, and flaxseed.

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