Fats and oils are generally required for the absorption of fat soluble vitamin like A, D, E, and K. Fat soluble vitamin are those where leftover amounts are stored in the liver and fat tissues as reserves. The Feeling of fullness and satisfaction and thus, delay the onset of hunger. Fats and oil helps proving energy to the body, help maintain body temperature, and protecting body tissue and organ.
The requirements of fats and oil is half a litre per person per month or 3 teaspoons per day. 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from fats and oils.
Fats that are used during cooking (vegetable oils, vanaspati, butter and ghee) are termed as “visible” fats. Fats that are present as integral components of various foods are referred to as “invisible” fat.
Dietary fats are divided into four groups; each has different roles inside the body
ü Saturated fat: These are the fat which contributes for heart diseases and stroke because they raise LDL blood cholesterol levels.
ü Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats: these fats help to lower LDL cholesterol
ü Trans fat: when vegetable oil is processed to make them harder some of the unsaturated fatty acids are changed to trans fats
Saturated fats – sources include fatty cuts of meat, full-fat milk, cheese, butter, cream, most commercially baked products such as biscuits and pastries, most deep-fried fast foods, coconut and palm oil.
Monounsaturated fats – sources include avocado, and nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds (including peanut and other nut butters), margarine spreads such as canola or olive oil based choices, oils such as olive, canola and peanut.
Polyunsaturated fats – sources include fish, seafood, polyunsaturated margarines, vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn or soy oils, nuts such as walnuts and Brazil nuts, and seeds.
Trans fats – these fats are found in milk, cheese, beef and lamb
Vitamin A is found in fish oils
Vitamin E is found in cooking oil such as – rice bran oil, seeds and nuts.
Vitamin D – Your skin cells can synthesize with the help of sunshine and cholesterol, and this vitamin helps your body metabolize calcium in support of bone health and nerve function.
Vitamin K – vegetable oils, spinach, tomatoes and beans.
The requirement of vitamin E for our body is 15mg /day so the daily intake of fats and oil should be sufficient for the body
Contributed by Ms. Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur