Fats in food – to have or not to have?
Fats!?-they are bad for your health! Especially for the old with predisposition to heart ailments, diabetes etc., they are a strict no. Is this true? Well not entirely. Contrary to popular belief, fats are actually important for a healthy living. They provide energy as well as protect the cell walls. Besides they also aid digestion of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K.
The word to go with fat is moderation. Eat moderate amounts and the right kinds, fats will help one sail through old age better. The average elderly should consume about 2-3 teaspoons of “good fat” everyday. This allowance should not be wasted on cakes, biscuits or sugary drinks. Instead pick items from the following list of food items:
- Fish such as salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, anchovies, mackerel, eulachon, char and herring
- Flaxseed or walnut oils (these oils are only to be used cold, not to be heated)
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, ground flaxseed)
- Vegetable oils (olive, canola, soybean, peanut, sesame oil)
- Soft tub margarine made from the oils above that say ‘non-hydrogenated’ on the label
- Wheat germ
- Omega 3 fortified foods such as eggs, yogurt, soy drinks
Use the above sources-mix and match to help you body receive the right kind of fats. Things to avoid are:
- Hard margarines
- Vegetable shortening
- Whole milk including coconut milk
- Cream, sour cream and ice cream
- Cheese and paneer
- Fatty red meat (pork hock, sausage, bacon, preserved meats)
- Palm and coconut oils
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
- Baked items (cookies, pies, cakes, pastries)
Fat is after all not so bad and it helps keep your body healthy. If one knows how to use it well, it is a food for the soul :)!