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More on Fats
Third Age newsletter recently printed news about new labeling about to take place, revealing to the consumer the amount of "trans-fat" in food items. This is generally thought to be one of the more harmful kinds of fat, and is unfortunately present in most foods like crackers, candy, bread and other baked goods, prepared fried foods, fast foods and an amazing amount of the items we eat every day. It's related to hydrogenated fat - read the Third Age report, or a larger article on the subject at the Nutrition Action Health Letter site.
While it's clear that the final word isn't in on the pros and cons of dietary fat's relationship to health, most of us would like to reduce the amount we consume. There are good ways to do this and possibly harmful ways. Fats not only provide calories and energy, they also carry necessary vitamins and other nutrients. Blocking the absorption of fat can also block absorption of these nutrients, possibly leading to serious health problems.
We referred last week to a Harvard study that appears to link a lower rate of stroke to a higher consumption of oil-based salad dressing. Other studies show that the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene, primarily found in tomatoes, is better absorbed in the presence of fat.
On the other hand, most health experts warn against the consumption of those trans-fats, hydrogenated fats and animal fats. This means to forget the hydrogenated margarine, solid cooking fats such as Crisco, well-marbled steaks, cream and butter and so on. Not easy, right?
A short and easy explanation of various kinds of good and bad dietary fat can be found on a Phys.com page: The Fats of Life. (This is a cached link which may become inactive.)
There are things we can do to cut our overall fat consumption without depriving ourselves too much. Read the Ten Sneaky Commandments for Less Fat in our Diet.