The Fat Breakdown (Heart Health)
Soon you’ll be seeing new changes on the packaging in your local grocery store! By January of 2006, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be requiring that food labels list the amount of trans-fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol of all products. These types of fat and cholesterol in your diet raise the level of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood. The higher the LDL cholesterol, the greater the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), the main form of heart disease and a leading cause of death, illness, and disability in the United States. Saturated fat is the chief dietary culprit that raises LDL, but consumers need to know about all three â€” saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol â€” in the foods they eat to reduce their risk for CHD and stay heart-healthy.
Which products have the greatest amount of these fats? High amounts of saturated fat are found in animal products, such as fatty cuts of meat, chicken skin, and full-fat dairy products like butter, whole milk, cream, and cheese, and in tropical vegetable oils such as palm, palm kernel, and coconut oil. Trans-fat is found in some of the same foods as saturated fat, such as vegetable shortening, some margarines (especially hard or stick margarine), crackers, cookies, baked goods, fried foods, salad dressings, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Small amounts of trans-fat also occur naturally in some animal products, such as milk products, beef, and lamb. Foods high in cholesterol include liver, other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and full-fat dairy products.
It’s important that you take note of how much saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol is in a product you’re planning to consume. By reducing your intake of foods high in fat content, you’ll be reducing your chance of developing coronary heart disease â€” a concern that should be taken very seriously. If you are still confused about how to cut the fat out of your diet, consult your physician or a nutritionist. He or she should be able to point you on the right path!