Fats & Oils

Contrary to popular opinion, we could all use a little fat.  A healthy diet should include essential fatty acids, and a major source of vitamin E is fat.  Fats also help our bodies absorb vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenoids and they help our bodies develop membranes and certain hormones.

But, the problem with fat is not that we are consuming too little.  Instead, we generally consume too much saturated fat (“bad fat” from meats), and too much trans fatty acids (“bad fat” from processed foods and oils).   On the other hand, many people are also not consuming enough of the unsaturated fat (“healthy fat” from fish, nuts and seeds).

Consuming an excessive amount of saturated and trans fat is a health risk because it may lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain kinds of cancer.  It is therefore recommended that we limit our fat intake to 20 percent to 35 percent of our caloric intake.  Saturated fats should account for less than 10 percent of our calories.  In terms of overall fat quantities that amounts to approximately 65 grams of fat per day.  Our saturated fat intake should be limited to 20 – 33 grams per day.

The first step to controlling our fat intake is to learn which foods and ingredients are high in fat.  And, while some fat is easy to see, sometime fat can only be discovered through a review of the Per Serving fat content listed on a products’ Food Label.