Fat- know the facts:

Fat is a concentrated source of energy stored by our bodies as reserve fuel. Our bodies cannot break down stored fat easily. Whenever we eat more calories than our bodies need, the excess is converted into fat and stored for later use. This is added to the fat already present in our bodies, piles up and eventually leads to obesity. Excess fat in our diet can be directly or indirectly responsible for many health problems from obesity to heart disease.


Two types- visible and invisible fat.

We fat from both vegetable and plant sources. Both these sources of fats are commonly known as visible fats because they are visible to the naked eyes. Cholesterol does not gets deposited on the walls of our blood vessels while LDL, the bad cholesterol does. If this happens to the vessels supplying blood to the heart, the risk of heart attack increases.

The good and the bad:

The fat we use in cooking is of two types:

  • Saturated fat
  • Unsaturated fat

Saturated fat like ghee, butter, vanaspati, coconut oil etc., is solid at room temperature and considered bad fat. When eaten in large quantities it too tends to solidify in the blood.

Unsaturated fat is good fat known to reduce cholesterol in the blood. Liquid at room temperature we get it from most cooking oils. This fat is preferable as it is known to protect the heart by raising the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.

Trans-saturated fat: is a type of unsaturated fat found in most processed foods to increase their shelf-life and enhance their texture.

Examples include- Packaged cookies, French fries, Fried chicken.

Fat- know the facts:


Owing to the high incidence of heart disease in India, the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) recommends only 20gm of oil for Indians that is about 4 teaspoon of oil for a whole day’s cooking.

Virtually all natural foods contain some amount of hidden or invisible fat too. Rice, wheat, ragi, dal, vegetables, fruits are plant foods that have hidden fat in negligible amounts thus making them a healthier option. However, some plant foods like coconut, groundnut, cashew are exceptionally rich in hidden fat.

Milk and milk products, meat, poultry, eggs and other foods from animal sources contain large amount of hidden fat. This hidden fat present in animal foods is called cholesterol.


Cholesterol is a waxy substance found only in foods from animal origin like milk, milk products, fish, egg and poultry. Our bodies manufacture certain amounts of cholesterol, they are incapable of removing excess present in the blood. Extra cholesterol gets deposited on the walls of blood vessels causing them to thicken and over time get blocked.

Cholesterol travels through our bodies in the form of tiny droplets in the blood. HDL is the good cholesterol.   

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