Health Benefits and Problems with Fat!

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Many people turn away from fat because they believe that it causes obesity. However, they fail to realise that fats are an important element of our diet. Fat helps keep our body functioning and can prevent you from suffering a number of health problems.

Many people turn away from fat because they believe that it causes obesity. However, they fail to realise that fats are an important element of our diet. Fat helps keep our body functioning and can prevent you from suffering a number of health problems.

Unsaturated fats work as an opposite to the body and can cause your health to deteriorate. In most cases, food that contains plenty of high fat tastes very good and will seduce you to consume more than what you need. Too much fatty food will increase calorie intake and weight gain. You must be aware that a lot of fat will eventually cause heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. Experts have recommended that a person should get as much as 30% of fat to help avoid any of these diseases.

The good news about fat!

Fat benefits the body by:

• Absorbing fat-soluble vitamins A and D for stronger bones

• Developing the brain

• Providing energy

• Maintaining healthy skin

• Keeping cells healthy

1) Vitamins!

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A comes from a variety of animal and plant foods. It helps a person’s eyes adjust to light and can keep your skin moist. The top sources of Vitamin A include:

• Beef liver

• Egg yolk

• Cheddar cheese

• Fortified milk

Can I consume lots of Vitamin A?

There are people who take in too much vitamin which leads to further health problems. A proportionate amount of any vitamin should be taken without consuming over the limit. Too much vitamins cause’s hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver. Though, a deficiency in Vitamin A can cause blindness, diarrhoea, nausea and blurred vision. Some people find it hard to digest these vitamins which can cause chronic health conditions. It is best to ask your doctor before any vitamin is prescribed.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is important for better health, stronger bones and growth. It also helps absorb and use calcium from various food sources. Both vitamins A and D are fat soluble vitamins stored in the fat tissues of the body for several days.

Food sources include:

• Fortified milk

• Fortified cereals

• Eggs

• Cheese and butter

• Mushrooms

• Tuna

• Fish-liver oils

• Sun exposure

How much Vitamin D is recommended?

Men and women aged 19 to 50 are recommended to consume a minimum of 5mcg of Vitamin D daily. Elderly people above 50 should consume 10mcg a day.

Sunlight is our main source of Vitamin D. When exposed to sunlight, the body converts a cholesterol compound in the skin to Vitamin D. This is why you should spend some quality time in the sunshine every week. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to get the same amount of Vitamin D as a fair skinned person. Exposing your bare skin to direct sunlight a few times a week should help you achieve healthy Vitamin D levels throughout the year. If the sunlight is strong, avoid too much exposure or you will cause skin damage and sun burn.

Having too little Vitamin D in the body can lead to weak bones, nausea, vomiting, constipation, weakness and weight loss. Most of the UK population are suffering from insufficient levels of Vitamin D. Those who are pregnant, black and Asian ethnic minorities are most at risk from Vitamin D deficiency.

On the other hand, too much Vitamin D will cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, weakness, confusion, kidney stones and abnormal heart rhythms. To avoid further problems, reduce your Vitamin D intake and any extra supplements. Always alert your doctor to make sure your consuming the recommended levels for your age. Balance your vitamin D intake so that you don’t suffer from any health problems from both sides.

2) Fatty acids!

Fat is a good source of fatty acids. These include omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. The most popular one which has been given the most attention is omega-3 for its powerful affect on lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol. This is why it is better to eat food that is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Fatty acids can help the body in the following ways:

• Reduces the affects of depression

• Improves learning skills

• Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease

• Lowers the risk of breast and colon cancer

• Makes skin healthier

• Improves eyesight vision

• Improves cognitive function in elderly people

• Lowers blood pressure

• Prevents blood clot

Food sources containing omega-3 fatty acids:

Fish:

• Salmon

• Tuna

• Mackerel

• Sardines

Others:

• Bread

• Yogurt

• Soybeans

• Walnuts

• Pumpkin seeds

• Flax seeds

• Canola oil

• Soybean oil

The bad news about fat!

Eating a diet that is high in unsaturated fat can do more bad than good. This can increase LDL (low-density-lipoprotein) cholesterol in your blood and cause the arteries to block up. Blocked arteries eventually stop the flow of blood to the heart and can increase the risk of coronary heart disease which is UK’s biggest killer.

1) Saturated and unsaturated fats!

Saturated fats:

Eating saturated fats as part of a healthy diet is necessary. Fats that are beneficial include omega-3 fatty acids which can be found in a variety of foods including fish such as tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon and swordfish. Omega -6 fatty acids can be found in olives, nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains. These foods increase the HDL cholesterol (high-density-lipoprotein) and can keep your arteries healthy.

Unsaturated fats:

Try avoiding the foods that contain the high saturated fats. These include meaty products such as sausages and pies, butter, full fat cheese, pastry, cakes, biscuits, cream and coconut oil. As a result of eating high saturated fat foods, the LDL (low-density-lipoprotein) cholesterol rises.

2) Recommended guidelines for eating saturated fat!

An average man should only consume as much as 30g of saturated a fat a day from 95g of total fat. Children and women should consume 20g of saturated fat a day from 70g of total fat.

If you find these recommendations too low, you can always cut down your fat intake. Use semi skimmed milk, low fat cheese, butter and oil. For meat products like red meat and chicken, trim the skin off when they are uncooked. Always revise the labels on packages to ensure you are buying food that is low in fat.

3) The harms of too much fat!

High levels of saturated fat can cause a number of health problems.

These include:

• Cardiovascular disease

• Heart attacks

• Angina

• Stroke

• Heart disease

• Weight gain

• High blood pressure

• Breast cancer

Summary

Overall, fat is essential in your diet but you need to take control of how much you consume. Too little and too much will cause health issues and result in life threatening diseases and cancers.

For more reading, please check:

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