Hidden fat content in food

Dhaka,  Mon,  25 September 2017
Published : 14 Oct 2016, 22:30:24

Hidden fat content in food

Fahmida Hashem
It's probably no surprise that greasy cheeseburgers, French fries and pizza are loaded with fat. Even certain vegetables and healthy fish can have a high fat content. Although one shouldn't be completely disappointed because fat should still be included in diet, it is important to be well aware of the fat content of the food one eats. 

Some fats, not obviously visible, are present in various foods. Meanwhile, here are some of the foods which one may not think as high in fat, but actually are popcorn, white marbling in red meats, salad dressing, skin of chicken and other poultry, packaged meats that come with oil, butter, or sauces. 

While high fat content in food should be avoided, this is not to say that one should completely avoid it. As mentioned, one needs this in diet to be healthy. However, it should be in the right amounts, so that it will not affect weight and health as well. Currently, it is recommended that one consume fat that is no more than 30 per cent of calories. For instance, if daily intake of calories is 2,000, one should only have 65 grams of fat or less every day. 

What one eats daily whether it's healthy or not has fat. Take a look at these numbers: Burger = 36 g, 10 pieces of French fries 8g, fish sandwich =24 g, Potato chips = 10 g, 1 slice cheese pizza = 8 g, 1 hot dog = 14 g , 1 cup of whole milk =7 g & 1 serving of typical cereals, breads contain 1 g of fat.   

For years, nutritionists/dieticians and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight and preventing health problems. A good fat can become bad if heat, light, or oxygen damages it. Selecting low-fat and fat-free foods, as well as cooking with little or no fat, can help in reducing the intake of both obvious and hidden fats. Keep in mind that fat is an important part of a healthy diet and while not all fat is bad, the fat content of a given meal should be evaluated just as closely as its calories. 

It's important to pay attention to how many fat grams one eats each day to make sure to get just the right amount of fat in diet  and no more. Keep an eye on fat intake, and opt for unsaturated fats in place of saturated fats. Be smart about saturated fat. Food labels should list 'hidden' fats to help reduce coronary heart disease, according to scientists.

Many prepared foods that we eat contain fat in quantities higher than we realise. They are in there; one just doesn´t see them. To avoid hidden fats in restaurants, one strategy is to avoid deep-fried foods (since many restaurants still use partially hydrogenated oils in their fryers) and desserts. One may be able to help change these cooking practices by asking the server, the chef, or the manager if the establishment uses only trans-free oils and foods.

The writer is a nutritionist. 


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