Fats

Fats

Oils and fats such as butter, ghee and vanaspathi constitute dietary visible fats. Fats are a concentrated source of energy providing 9 Kcal/g, and are made up of fatty acids in different proportions. Dietary fats are derived from two sources viz. the invisible fat present in plant and animal foods; and the visible or added fats and oils (cooking oil). Fats serve as a vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenes and promote their absorption. They are also sources of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is necessary to have adequate and good quality fat in the diet with sufficient polyunsaturated fatty acids in proper proportions for meeting the requirements of essential fatty acids (Refer chapter 7). The type and quantity of fat in the daily diet influence the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Diets should include adequate amounts of fat particularly in the case of infants and children, to provide concentrated energy since their energy needs per kg body weight are nearly twice those of adults. Adults need to be cautioned to restrict intake of saturated fat (butter, ghee and hydrogenated fats) and cholesterol (red meat, eggs, organ meat). Excess of these substances could lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

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