The Different Types of Fats
Food is any material eaten to supply nutrition to an organism. In the modern world, food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and is made up of necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or iron, and is required for normal body functioning. The most important element in any food is protein, which is made up of amino acids (proteins with amino acid groups) that are required to build, repair, and grow skin, muscle and tissues.
One of the most important things to remember when choosing food is the food label, which lists all the ingredients used in preparing the food. The major sections of the food label are protein, carbohydrates, fats, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salt, meat, bakery products, preservatives, fiber, flavorings and fats. A notable exception to this is the term “saturated fat” which is used sometimes to describe natural fat in meats and oils, rather than saturated fats obtained by industrial cooking methods. It should also be remembered that although whole grains are beneficial, they should not be the first ingredient in any diet, as whole grains contain many necessary nutrients not found in refined grains, which are mainly lacking in the diet.
Fats are generally included in a healthy diet as they provide essential fatty acids, which are vital to the health of most people, especially in the prevention of heart disease and certain cancers. However, there is a tendency for people to overindulge in fats, particularly saturated fats, which can raise cholesterol levels and increase blood pressure. The consumption of excessive saturated fats has now been linked with chronic disease and premature death, so it is important to choose lean sources of fat, such as olive oil, butter, avocados, tropical oils, safflower oils and some nuts, for example walnuts. Nuts have large amounts of protein and several important nutrients, including almonds, cashews and walnuts, that are beneficial for preventing heart disease and other health problems. It is best to eat nuts in their raw form, without any added extras, to ensure maximum health benefits. For those who are allergic to nuts, many nut free versions are available, which can be just as beneficial.