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Fats and tips to reduce it

Fats and tips to reduce it

Fats are a group of chemical compounds that contain fatty acids. Energy is stored in the body mostly in the form of fat. Fat is needed in the diet to supply essential fatty acids, substances essential for growth but not produced by the body itself.

There are three main types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. All fatty acids are molecules composed mostly of carbon and hydrogen atoms. A saturated fatty acid has the maximum possible number of hydrogen atoms attached to every carbon atom. It is therefore said to be “saturated” with hydrogen atoms.

Some fatty acids are missing one pair of hydrogen atoms in the middle of the molecule. This gap is called an “unsaturation” and the fatty acid is said to be “monounsaturated” because it has one gap. Fatty acids that are missing more than one pair of hydrogen atoms are called “polyunsaturated.”

Fat serves as the storage substance for the body's extra calories. It fills the fat cells (adipose tissue) that help insulate the body. Fats are also an important energy source. When the body has used up the calories from carbohydrate, which occurs after the first 20 minutes of exercise, it begins to depend on the calories from fat.

Eating too much saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A diet high in saturated fat causes a soft, waxy substance called cholesterol to build up in the arteries. Too much fat also increases the risk of heart disease because of its high calorie content, which increases the chance of becoming obese (another risk factor for heart disease and some types of cancer).

10 Tips to Reduce Fat

To help cut down on your fat intake, use the following tips when preparing foods:

1. Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream when preparing sauces or desserts.

2. Steam, boil, bake, or microwave vegetables rather than frying.

3. Season vegetables with herbs and spices instead of fatty sauces, butter or margarine.

4. Try flavored vinegars or lemon juice on salads or use smaller servings of oil-based or low-fat salad dressings.

5. Try whole-grain flours to enhance flavors of baked goods made with less fat and fewer or no cholesterol-containing ingredients.

6. Replace whole milk with low-fat or skim milk in puddings, soups and baked products.

7. Substitute plain low-fat yogurt or blender-whipped low-fat cottage cheese for sour cream or mayonnaise.

8. Choose lean cuts of meat, and trim fat from meat and poultry before and after cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking.

9. Roast, bake, broil, or simmer meat, poultry and fish rather than frying.

10. Cook meat or poultry on a rack so the fat will drain off. Use a non-stick pan for cooking so added fat is unnecessary.

11. Chill meat and poultry broth until the fat becomes solid. Remove the fat before using the broth.

12. Limit egg yolks to one per serving when making scrambled eggs. Use additional egg whites for larger servings.

13 Try substituting egg whites in recipes calling for whole eggs. Use two egg whites in place of one whole egg in muffins, cookies and puddings..


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