My class this week was discussing fats... there are good fats and bad fats.... see what I found out below....
Discuss the question: High fat foods: friend or foe?
“Fats serve as a major source of energy. Fats are generally hydrophobic, insoluble in water and are soluble in organic solvents. They serve many important structural and metabolic functions of the body. They are the most energy dense nutrients and so a necessary part of our diet. Fats help in absorption of some vitamins and minerals in the gut, which is very important. They are needed to build cell membranes and the sheaths surrounding nerves. Fats are also essential for many important physiological functions like blood clotting, muscle movement etc. (Harvard 2018).” (Pattanayak 2019).
High fat foods… One I can think of off the top of my head - Avocados - totally good fat and something our body needs!
“Avocado can be an excellent alternative for industry, especially for pulp processing or oil extraction, considering its composition and the benefits of its compounds. Furthermore, the great diversity of plant species should be taken into consideration, since it provides the spread of cultivation and good availability of fruit, regardless of the time of year. This crop can be used for exportation and oil extraction, application in processed products, or as raw material in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, generating high value added products. The pulp residue from oil extraction may also be used for manufacture of food products. Several studies have demonstrated the health benefits of a balanced diet with avocado intake, especially in lowering cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular diseases” (Durante, Chaves, Borges, Mendonça, 2016).
“Avocados are a nutrient-dense source of MUFAs and are rich in antioxidants. Avocados have an additional LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering effect beyond that observed when their MUFAs are substituted for SFAs, especially on small, dense LDL (sdLDL) particles, which are susceptible to in vivo oxidation and associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)” (Wang, Tao, Hao et. al. 2020).
Avocados have such good benefits. I really should eat more of them! Just in case MUFA is a monounsaturated fatty acid. It’s a healthy fat. Other MUFA foods include Almonds, olives and sunflower seeds. These are the high fat foods that we want in our diet. The fat our body wants.
Now let’s talk trans fat. We are all aware that news related to trans fat and very rarely do I see a product with trans fat on the nutritional label.
“The regulation of trans fats sets an interesting precedent for the regulation of other legal but harmful food ingredients, such as salt, sugar and saturated fat. In this paper, we distinguish three regulatory measures to reduce such ingredients in food and population intakes: the labelling of an ingredient, a limit on the amount of the ingredient in food products and a ban on the production technology that creates the ingredient. We will compare the regulations promulgated in the US and in the EU to reduce trans fats in food and population intakes. This comparison will identify a common focus on scientific risk assessment and precautionary action but a different orientation towards regulating the internal market and towards producer interests. The comparison also lays bare differences in the regulatory systems of the US and the EU that may inspire US and EU regulators to reflect on possible improvements for future fights against legal but harmful food ingredients” (Bloks 2019).
“The fight against industrially-produced trans fats started in 1993 with a citizen petition in the US and reached global prominence in 2018 when the WHO called for the elimination of industrially-produced trans fats from the global food supply chain by 2023. The fight has encouraged industry to reformulate their products and inspired regulators across the globe to adopt trans fat reducing measures, such as mandatory trans fat labelling, a limit on the maximum amount of industrially-produced trans fats in food products and a ban on the production process that generates trans fats.149 Thereby, the fight against industrially-produced trans fats may set an example for future fights against legal but harmful food ingredients, such as salt, sugar and saturated fat” (Bloks 2019).
“All the food or food items prepared with hydrogenated vegetable oils contains trans fats. The list includes margarines, all biscuits, pastries, cookies, crackers, icings (CSPINET 2004); cakes, ice cream, bread (www.diabetes.co.uk, Trans fats); movie-popcorn (popcorn fried in hydrogenated fats available in movie halls), potato crisps, corn chips, sausage rolls, meat pies, French fries, chips, wedges, battered fish, nuggets, spring rolls, crumbed chicken, fish fingers, Danish pastries, croissants, snails and apple pies (Saxelby 2018); pizza, coffee creamer and all deep-fried foods at restaurants (CSPINET 2004). So, almost all snack foods, packaged baked goods and frying fast foods contain trans fats (CSPINET 2004).”(Pattanayak 2019).
Let’s close with this. The effects of trans fats. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and allergies. We can limit these foods. Trans fats are regulated now and you don’t see them as much, but you have to check the label. Read the labels and if it says trans fat - put it back. Instead go to your produce section and pick up some avocado and almonds.
Bloks SA. The Regulation of Trans Fats in Food Products in the US and the EU. Utrecht Law Review. 2019;15(3):57.
Wang L, Tao L, Hao L, et al. A Moderate-Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day Increases Plasma Antioxidants and Decreases the Oxidation of Small, Dense LDL in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Nutrition. 2020;150(2):276
Shibabrata Pattanayak. Trans-Fats of Processed and Fried Foods – a Choice for Taste or Serious Health Problems? Exploratory Animal and Medical Research. 2019;(1):5.
Duarte PF, Chaves MA, Borges CD, Mendonça CRB. Avocado: characteristics, health benefits and uses / Abacate: características, benefícios à saúde e aplicações. Ciência Rural. 2016;46(4):747-754. doi:10.1590/0103-8478cr20141516.
Thank you for reading!