How to monitor your fats intake?
Health Tips

How to monitor your fats intake?

All foods contain a mixture of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. Only foods originating from animals contain cholesterol. 


We have learned that we should be selective towards our fats and cholesterol intakes. We need to restrict the intake of saturated and trans fats as well as cholesterol. On the other hand, we should eat more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.


Use the Nutrition Facts label as a tool for monitoring the intakes of cholesterol, total fats and the types of fats. Food manufacturers must list the amounts in grams (g) per serving of cholesterol, total, saturated and trans fats on the Nutrition Facts label. The amounts of monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats become mandatory if a statement is made on the package labeling about the health effects or the amount of monounsaturated fat or polyunsaturated fat (for example, "high" or "low") contained in the food.


Natural cholesterol and trans fat can also be found in red meats, so try to limit your intake of beef or lamb. Alternate the dietary protein sources to plant-based products such as nuts, soya beans, and lentils or lean meats like chicken or fish instead.


The type of cooking oils used is also critical. Cook and bake with oils that are higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as sunflower oil and olive oil), and avoid oils that are higher in saturated fat (such as coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils). Use liquid oils instead of solid fats (such as butter, lard, and shortening). Plant-based oils are cholesterol-free. 


When eating out, ask which fats are being used to prepare your meal. You can also ask if nutrition information is available to help you make informed choices.


While it’s impossible to eliminate cholesterol, saturated and trans fat from our diets completely, we can limit their intakes and maintain a healthy diet that provides all the nutrition our bodies need.


Posted on 31 Aug, 2021

Posted by Dr. Loke Wai Mun

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