Chapter 9: “Doc, how much fat should I eat?”

The consumption of saturated and trans fats should be limited. Saturated fats can increase low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and this is the type of cholesterol that is not good for the body. An increase in LDL cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of heart disease.

Buy foods with the lowest amounts of total and saturated fats. Trans fat also increases LDL cholesterol and lowers high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is a type of cholesterol but this type is considered as ‘good fat’. Consuming high amount of trans fat decreases the good HDL cholesterol.

Trans fats are created by a chemical process known as hydrogenation. Food manufacturers used this process to improve the stability of vegetable oils and to convert liquid oils into solid forms. Trans fats are also found in deep-fried foods and processed foods made with margarines or shortening. When a claim is made on the food label about its fatty acid content, make sure its trans fat content is listed. Compare ‘per 100 g’ between manufacturers.

All margarines and oils are high in total fat. Look for mono and polyunsaturated margarines and oils. When buying margarines aim for those with less than 1% trans fat. Hidden fats include shortening, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and palm oil.




About rodney itaki

I am a medical doctor from Papua New Guinea. My posts focuses on current and emerging health issues in PNG.
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