Articles on fat

Good Fat vs Bad Fat

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet: They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. But more than just the amount of fat, it’s the types of fat you eat that really matter. Apart from this it’s easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats. So first of all its really important to know what are good and bad fats? Types of dietary fat: Good fats vs. bad fatsTo understand good and bad fats, you need to know the names of the dietary fats and some information about them.There are four major types of fats:- Monounsaturated Fats- Polyunsaturated Fats- Saturated Fats- Trans FatsMonounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall healthSaturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol levels of the body.Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stove top cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.Reach for the nuts. You can add them to salads to give a crunchy flavour or just add them to your mid time snacking meal. Unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack.Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. Use them in salads, as a pickle or in sandwiches.Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged Trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax-seed oil, or sesame oil.General guidelines for choosing healthy fatsWith so many different sources of dietary fat-some good and some bad-the choices can get confusing. But the bottom line is simple: don’t go no-fat, go good fat.If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.FAT RECOMMENDATIONThe fat requirement for an individual depends on one’s lifestyle, weight, age and most importantly the state of one’s health. The USDA recommends that the average individual should follow these guidelines-:Keep total fat intake to 20-30% of caloriesLimit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories (200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet)Limit trans fats to 1% of calories (2 grams per day for a 2000 calorie diet)The best way to keep on top of the fats in your diet is to become a label reader. On the nutrition facts panel, you'll find all the information you need to make healthful choices. Look for foods that are low in total fat as well as in saturated and Trans fats.

Myth - Fat Free Food Is Healthy

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Over the past century, we have seen an entire generation panic over fat and obsess over the supposed desirability of thinness. This is why, any food items with the tag “fat-free” found their way in our baskets. However, truth be told, if you want to lower cholesterol or lose weight, then it’s best to avoid those fat free products. In Spite of our warnings, these food items are fast filling up all major supermarkets, and truth be told, our kitchens also.With our absurd fear of fat, we often miss out its true meaning of the fat free. What do I mean? According to the FDA, fat free product must have fat less than 0.5 grams as per serving. This will go well only if you eat “per serving,” which means, if you consume more than that, the food item ceases to be fat free.We can therefore, safely conclude, that fat free food doesn’t help you lose weight, it actually makes you fat. Sad, but that’s the truth. Read more about tips to lose weight.You eat more! Sometimes fat free is so taste free, that makers tend to pour more ingredients like sugar, salt , additives, enhancers, thickeners-that all add more calories. Due to it’s taste, you tend to eat more and put on those extra unwanted calories.That ultimately make you more bulky and fat. Which is clearly not good. However, in a way, these companies give you false hopes in the name of fat free foods. Have you ever tried reading the nutritional label of a fat free food? You will be scared! Most of these products are filled with fillers that does not add anything to the nutritional value. These food producing companies, furthermore, market the items in ways that it appears to be much healthier products. While it’s a success for the marketing team, what we fail to realize is that the chemicals in these product are building up the toxic levels in our body, which would eventually be some of causative agents of many diseases. Truth be told, while consuming these fat free foods, you typically end up consuming 30% more calories than your regular food. However, this doesn’t mean that consuming less of these similar items or binging more on the greasy stuff would be good. The idea here is to first understand that we should include foods that have good fats in them. For example, nuts and seeds, fish, mustard oil, olive oil and avocados are loaded with good fats. So, next time you are hungry, choose nuts instead of the multigrain cookies.How to stay away from fat free foods?1. Shop smartRemember that not all fat free foods are bad. Consuming in moderation is the trick.2. Read food labelsBefore purchasing any fat free items, make sure that the product is minus sugar and additives. It should not contain any more calories.3. Keep a watch on your servingsThis means three servings of a low fat ice-cream is actually nowhere fat free. You have to stop at one.While I agree there are a growing number of people with real time problems, “fat” is not necessarily all bad. While it's actually sad to see the society’s miserable obsession with being thin, it is also true that in the modern world, our sedentary lifestyle and easily available junk food, does conspire to make us fat. For those unlucky us, it is important that our diets and lifestyle is maintained under strict vigilance of healthy. Include fat in your diet, but in moderation.

The Oil & Fat Story: What Is the Healthy Intake?

Dr. Tanoy Bose, Internal Medicine
PUFA, Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Mono Unsaturated Fats, Butter, Visible Fats, Fish oils…. Blah Blah. So much of information on fats just can’t be comprehended well by majority of health conscious citizens. Poor understanding of Fat facts have resulted in reliance on television commercials. Shinier the advert, healthier the oil - this had been the current day idea about healthy fat intake. Let’s attempt to get into the depth of the oily tale and find out the facts.Fat is generally a highly valued element of the diet to provide energy, palatability to dry foods or to serve as a cooking medium. If we go to the molecular level, fats are composed of fatty acids & esters which help in building the cell membrane of human cells, important biochemical neurotransmitters, hormones, and provide energy on demand. But there is a property of fats to get accumulated as they are not the fastest moving energy resource of the body. Unfortunately, they often accumulate in the blood vessels of heart and brain, sometimes in arteries of limbs and other vital organs and in due time takes a toll on the health of these organs causing heart attacks, brain strokes and gangrenes. Let’s figure out who are the culprits. It’s a well known fact that Cholesterols who take important part in forming steroid and thyroid hormones are harmful in excess. When we speak of cholesterol we seldom notice that the total amount of cholesterol in our body is basically composed of sub groups like Low Density Cholesterol (LDL), High Density Cholesterol (HDL), Very Low Density Cholesterol (VLDL), and Intermediate Density Cholesterol (IDL). Of which LDL is the bad cholesterol and HDL is the good cholesterol. HDLs are called the cholesterol scavengers. They scavenge cholesterol from target organs such as heart, brain, arteries and bring them back to the liver. Whereas LDL cholesterol does the reverse. Their concentration in the blood is directly related to Mortality due to cardiovascular events. Hence fat intake should be directed in reducing LDL and increasing HDL. Saturated and Trans Fats are predominant source of LDL, whereas, diets rich in Poly Unsaturated fats and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, promote formation of HDL cholesterol. Intake of oil is the major source of fat entry into our body. So choice of oil and foods rich in fat is the deciding factor in creating the cholesterol milieu in our body. Nutritionists have recommended that the ratio of PUFA: MUFA: SFA should be 1:1:1Well, complete absence of saturated fat is not recommended. Interestingly not a single dietary source or oil has got such combination of fats. Oils rich in Saturated fats can be identified by the fact that they are solid in physical form in room temperature. E.g. Butter, Ghee, Margarine. Mono-Unsaturated fats are liquid in room temperature but become hazy when cooled down e.g. olive oil, peanut oil. And Poly-Unsaturated fats are liquid in physical form all through e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil. So we need a blend of all these three in appropriate proportionsNeedless to state that Olive Oils score high amongst oil fraternity. Not only because of its high content of MUFA, but also due to potent antioxidant properties. The chief active components of olive oil include oleic acid, phenolic constituents, and squalene. The main phenolics include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein, which occur in highest levels in virgin olive oil and have demonstrated antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are believed to be responsible for a number of olive oil's biological activities. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, has shown activity in cancer prevention, while squalene has also been identified as having anticancer effects. Olive oil consumption has benefit for colon and breast cancer prevention. The oil has been widely studied for its effects on coronary heart disease (CHD), specifically for its ability to reduce blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Antimicrobial activity of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein has been demonstrated against several strains of bacteria implicated in intestinal and respiratory infectionsAlthough the majority of research has been conducted on the oil, consumption of whole olives might also confer health benefits. The use of raw EVOO added to foods after cooking (or as a salad oil) is the best way to express the original flavour and to maximize the intake of natural antioxidants and compounds related to positive effects on human health (hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancerogenic,). EVOO, however, also exhibits its protective properties during/after cooking. Different chemical interactions between biophenolic compounds and other food ingredients (water, milk proteins, carotenoids of tomato, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in canned-in-oil fish and meat or fish proteins) occur. Even during cooking, EVOO exhibits strong antioxidant properties and influences the overall flavour of cooked foods. Pure Olive oil however lacks the property of antioxidants. The approximate content of SFA: MUFA: PUFA is around 15:75:10.Canola Oil is another entrant in the race for healthy oils. It’s worth mentioning that there is nothing called canola plant or seeds. After searching the internet database it has been found that canola oils are basically rapeseed oils which have been genetically engineered and undergo a high temperature purification, deodorization & degummation process. These complicated procedures that convert the oil into edible format causes loss of the antioxidants. The approximate content of SFA: MFA: PUFA in canola oil is around 8: 64: 28. The high content of MFA and PUFA makes it healthier for cholesterol milieu of the body. In a recently conducted clinical trial published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2014, it has been concluded that consumption of Canola DHA( Docosahexanoic Acid) , a novel DHA-rich canola oil, improves HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, thereby reducing risks for cardiovascular risk scores compared with other oils varying in unsaturated fatty acid composition.Among other high quality oils are the walnut oil, peanut oil and sesame oil. The ratio of MUFA: PUFA in peanut & sesame oil is 1:1 with less than 20% SFAHowever, there is indeed a question of cost benefit ratio as because these special oils are quite heavy on the wallet. One of highlighted confusions in the kitchen is the choice between butter & margarine. Well, since the common belief is that margarines are healthy replacement of butter, few facts needs to be made clear. Both butter & margarine are solid fats and very likely to be unhealthy for the heart. Butter has high content of saturated fats and low in trans-fat as because they are not produced by hydrogenation whereas margarines are product of hydrogenation and are rich is trans-fats and low in saturated fats. Margarines which undergo partial hydrogenation are low is trans-fats. Hence, liquid margarine may be a healthy replace of both. With evolving nutrition science, margarines and cooking products, and to a lesser extent dressings, have been adapted to contain less trans fatty acids (TFA), less SFA and more essential (polyunsaturated, PUFA) fatty acids. This has been possible by using careful fat and oil selection and modification processes. By blending vegetable oils rich in the essential PUFAs alpha-linolenic acid (vegetable omega-3) or linoleic acid (omega-6), margarines and dressings with both essential fatty acids present in significant quantities can be realized. In addition, full hydrogenation and fat rearrangement have enabled the production of cost-effective margarines virtually devoid of TFA and low in SFA. Dietary surveys indicate that vegetable oils, soft margarines and dressings are indeed often important sources of essential fatty acids in people's diets, whilst providing negligible amounts of TFA and contributing modestly to SFA intakes. Before consumption of a particular brand of margarine it is wise to go through the nutritional facts on the label and check the trans-fat concentrationOne might wonder about the natural sources of dietary fats. Most of natural sources of healthy dietary fat come from fish oils, nuts, olives and low fat dairy products. The association between fish consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been extensively studied. There is little doubt that long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFAs) in fish are the key nutrients responsible for the benefits and are important for CVD prevention. Omega-3 PUFAs are responsible for rise in HDL Cholesterol and decrease LDL. Often people ask whether they can supplement their diet with fish oil capsules instead of whole fish. Well, in this regard researches have speculated that although fish is valued as a source of these fatty acids, it also provides other nutrients that may have cardio protective effects. It is likely that the beneficial effects of fish consumption on the risk of CVD are the synergistic effects among nutrients in fish, and the integrative effects of fish consumption may reflect the interactions of nutrients and contaminants in fish.To conclude it must be emphasized that all of your dietary fat source should be consisting predominantly of unsaturated fats; PUFAs & MUFAs.

Intelligent Ways to Lose Fat

Dr. Ameet Thakkar, General Physician
The first and foremost thing that I would say to those looking forward to lose fat is, “You cannot lose fat if you do not keep your calorie intake in negative.” That is, eat a little bit lesser than what you expend on the day. So without wasting your time let me go straight into the diet plan.Eat 6 Meals a day:To keep the metabolism of your body high, you have to eat frequent meals. Rather than eating three large meals, 6 evenly spaced small meals can be utilized better by your body. You will get an uninterrupted supply of protein to maintain your hard earned muscle. By eating small frequent meals, you will give the body the necessary source of energy in regular basis. So your body will be in a good balanced state and so it won’t produce the chemical enzymes to convert food into fat storage. But if you eat infrequent meals, the body will go into a panic mode and will start storing fats under your skin in order to withstand long time without food. Planning to make this 7 or 8 meals is also a wise decision.The calorie game:The most important factor in determining how much weight you gain or how much weight you lose is the calorie count of the food that you consume daily. As I said earlier, you have to be in a negative calorie balance in order to lose weight and fats. You must remember one more thing. Human body has the best adapting mechanism. So if you keep your calorie balance negative always, the results will slow down and your body will simply adapt to the situation and will stop you from loosing weight and fat. In order to over smart the body’s adaptation, we must learn to cheat. What??? Ya. Cheat in the right sense. Plan for two continuous cheat meals every three or four days. After three or four days of continuous negative calories, your body might think of shifting gear and it will try to adapt to the situation. But if you place a high calorie meal at this point, you will no longer be negative calorie balance. Instead you will be in a positive calorie balance. So your body won’t get adapted to the situation and will continue to support you in loosing fat. There is one more advantage of cheat meal. It helps to pack on some more lean muscle onto your body. In order to maintain the added muscle tissue, your body has to spend some more calories that you eat. So it increases your fat burning capacity. If you are obese by nature then space the cheat meals 5-6 days apart.The macronutrient ratio:Consume 60% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 10% fats. The right way to consider is, - “ If I consume 100 calories, then 60 calories should be from carbs, 30 calories should be from protein and 10 calories should be from fats”.Why on the basis of calories? It is because,1 g protein = 4 calories, 1 g of carbohydrate = 4 calories and 1g of fat = 9 calories. So fats constitute more than twice the amount of calories from protein or carbohydrates.Time your carbs:You can consume more carbs during your breakfast, before your workouts and even after your workouts. But it should be lesser during the night. Why? As we all know carbohydrates are source of energy. If we consume carbs and go to sleep, then the energy consumed could not be used up by the body. So in turn the body will try to convert it into fats. So we must consume more carbs before high physical activity hours of the day and try to keep it very low during the low activity hours of the day and in night.What carbohydrates?Try to consume fibrous and starchy carbohydrates. And try to stay away from sugars, as they can increase your insulin levels and can spoil your diet. But consuming sugar carbohydrates immediately after training can help you replenish the lost glycogen stores in your muscle.Never starve:When ever you go into a negative calorie balance, take care that you do not reduce your calories drastically. Reducing the calorie levels by 10-15% is safe. A fat loss enthusiast might try to reduce his calories by 50%. This should decrease his weight faster than the earlier…. But it will never result that way.First of all, when he tries to drastically cut down his calories, his body will go into the panic mode. So now its concern would be to protect itself from the scarcity of food. To hold one kg of fat under your skin, you need not expend a considerable amount of calories, but if your hold 1 kg of muscle, you need much more calories than fats. So the body will consider the situation and start giving you energy from the hard earned muscle. So after one week of this diet, he might have lost more weight than the other people on a safe diet. But from the second week the results will go down and will eventually stop. If we analyze his body composition, he would not have lost much fat and would have lost much more muscle. So if we consider the proportions of muscle and fat, muscle would be lesser than before and his fat would be nearly the same or even more. So his net fat % would be more. Why did the weight loss come to a halt in this person?As I said earlier, the body can adapt very fast. Earlier it would have been on 3000 calories. So when the subject cut it down to 1500 calories, the human body adapted itself to 1500 calories by using up some muscle tissue as energy source and by retaining fat under the skin for future scarcity situation. So after this point if the subject tries to drop more calories the same drastic way, the body will adapt. And at a point he would get totally hopeless on fat loss and might start to eat normally again. But now his body has adapted to very less calories. So even 2000 calories would be excess for it and it will deposit it as fat under your skin. This is the most common mistake that people do and complain that their diet is not working. These are the building blocks of constructing your fat loss diet. Construct your fat loss diet sensibly and achieve your desired goals.

The World Is Getting Fatter- and There's a Cure!

Mr. V Ravichandran, Physiotherapist
What is Obesity?Obesity can be simply defined as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index(BMI) is a simple index for weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. An individual with a BMI equal or greater than 25 is overweight and a BMI equal or greater than 30, is considered obese. However, these values may differ in Asian countries as Asians have a higher fat body percentage as compared to their European counterparts.Causes of ObesityThe primary cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and expended. This is due to humans adopting more of the sedentary lifestyle rather than going for a short workout. Furthermore, many people have jobs where they are desk-bound, sitting for hours without moving much of their body parts. They also rely on cars, rather than walking or cycling. This inactive ‘mode’ means that the individual does not use the energy provided by the food they eat, and the extra energy consumed will be stored in the body as fats. Poor diet also contributes to obesity. Obesity is acquired over time and not overnight. Poor diet includes:Eating large amounts of processed or fast food that is high in fat and sugar.Drinking too much alcohol Eating larger portions that what you needEating out a lot – Food at hawker centres and restaurants are mainly high in fat and sugar which makes it nice to eatWhat can be done?The ultimate goal in reducing the risk of being obese is to achieve the ideal energy balance. The ideal energy balance isthat the amount of calories consumed = amount of calories expended.Other methods include:Limiting energy intake from total fats. Shift fat consumption from saturated fats to unsaturated fats which increases the level of good fats in the body and promotes a healthy heart.Eat more fruits and vegetables. Legumes, nuts and whole grains are also acceptable. Limit intake of sugars.Exercise regularly. It is recommended for an individual to spend at least 150 minutes a week doing moderate intensity workouts and 75 minutes of high intensity exercises. That will be 15-20 mins a day.A little Tip-off !Apart from watching your diet and all, an individual can also take coconut oil to reduce their weight. Coconut oil contains a lot of saturated fats. SATURATED FATS? It’s harmful right? Well, in coconut oil it is a bit special. The saturated fats in coconut oil contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which can be broken down by the liver to produce energy quickly and efficiently. This therefore boost your metabolism and therefore, you can burn more fats, thus reducing the fat body percentage in the body. This will then result in the loss of weight.Other benefits of coconut oil include:Coconut oil is jam-packed with lauric acid which is the immune supporting nutrient.Promotes heart health. The lauric acid helps actively in preventing various heart problems. It does notlead to the increase of Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and reduce the incidence of injury as well as damage toarteries thus preventing atherosclerosis.Increases cells regeneration. When metabolic rate increases, cell regeneration speeds up as well. This meansthe body is able to replace the old cells with the new cells at a faster rate.Recommended consumption: 2 teaspoons per day

Food With Fat for Health Benefits

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Fat has an important role to play in the smooth functioning of body just like how protein is important for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy and vitamins and minerals for other nutrition. The minimum requirement of essential fat for men is 2-5% and women is 10-12%, anything below which physical and psychological health would be effected. When one consumes fat more than the daily requirement it then it gets stored in the belly, thighs and all over the body. Fat helps in healthy cell function and keeps the skin healthy and stores energy in the body and provides 9 calories per 1 gm of fat.Essential fat is required for brain functioning, bone marrows, central nervous system muscles and healthy functioning of the bodyIt provides cushion to internal organs of the chest and abdomen.  These essential fats are often confused with the bad fats that increase the LDL bad Cholesterol. Essential fats actually increase the HDL good cholesterol levels improving heart health and improves the flow of blood in the arteries.Here is a list of fatty foods for good health:Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The omega 3 fatty acids in fish helps lower triglyceride levels and reduces blood clotting and improves the blood flow suggests a study. This improves the heart health and increases the HDL levels. For vegetarians and non fish eaters walnuts, flaxseeds, green vegetables and soy foods are the other rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds provide the body with good fat and increase the HDL levels preventing the body from heart problems. Along with fat they also provide with other essential nutrients for the body.Cheese: Not only will it give you health benefits but a change of taste to your buds. It gives a feeling of fullness as it contains protein and fat and the when eaten in moderation shows no effect on LDL levels and keeps the body healthy. Cottage cheese can be another option with its health benefits.Coconut: Coconut is nutritious and also provides the body with fiber, vitamins and minerals. It improves heart health raising the HDL levels although it increases the LDL levels but less than the good cholesterol improving heart health and reducing the blockages in the arteries. The lauric acid present in it raises the good cholesterol even more.Cashew Nuts: Cashew nuts don't increase the blood cholesterol levels and contains important vitamins and minerals for good heath. The fat in cashew nuts increase the HDL levels and keeps good heart health. It has protein in it and provides with energy to the body.Eggs: Many of us have the perception of eggs as fattening and increase the cholesterol levels in the body. It provides with essential vitamins and minerals and when had for breakfast keeps you feeling fuller for a longer time. 2 whole eggs would keep you on a healthy track.Avoid transfat and hygrogenated foods: To improve the heart health and raise the HDL levels reduce eating white sugar, white bread, refined flour and sweets and candies. Not eating these products will improve the heart health.Eating healthy fat is important for the body as it helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body like A, D, E, and K. The carotenoids present in colorful veggies are  important antioxidants to fight diseases which can not be absorbed by the body without fat. Lastly a note of precaution the range listed above is very general and differs from one individual to the other.

Is Saturated Fat the Reason to Your Stomach Flab?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Have you ever thought that how and why diets high in saturated fats are dangerous to your health?A recent research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than poly-unsaturated fat. Loss of muscle from your body means higher chances of injuries and diseases.When we indulge in a high-fat diet it influences not only the cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but it also determines the way the body stores fat.When you get calories from polyunsaturated fats (like salmon, olives, olive oil, nuts, etc.), you gain muscle weight, but foods with saturated fats (like butter, hydrogenated fats, stearic oil, etc.) will make you gain fat mass. Saturated fat in the diet causes a greater increase in the amount of fat in the liver and abdomen region which makes you obese.When excessive unhealthy fats are consumed, they start getting deposited or stored in the arteries, which leads to narrowing of the blood vessels and an increase in the risk of heart diseases. Belly fat is closely linked to high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, and metabolic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, especially Type-2 diabetes. It causes disturbance in body metabolism. It is closely associated with increase in the levels of plasma cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol and significantly lowers the “good” cholesterol level, as storing fat around the organs is associated with increased risk of such conditions. Studies have shown that trans-fats and saturated fats spark chronic inflammation in the body and cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels. And if you cutback on such fats from your diet, then you might be able to prevent metabolic diseases. Replace bad saturated fats with unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs).A high consumption of saturated fats in the diet seems to change the characteristics of certain genes in the body. These changed characteristics increase the fat storage in the abdomen and liver. When we consume polyunsaturated fats, the genes work the other way round in the visceral region (fat deposition around the vital organs) and protect the vital organs from shock and damage and also improve the sugar metabolism in the body.Make sure you get your daily dose of healthy unsaturated fats through nuts, fish, avocadoes, etc. Choose peanut butter or almond butter over normal butter. Choose fish over beef and pork.

Your Fat Chance at Glowing Skin!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Perhaps you’ve heard this before but not all fats are bad. Fat has been in the bad press for the last few decades now but before you go fat-shaming again, below are some fun facts about fat:Fat is a nutrient. Yes! Not just a nutrient, but a MACRO-nutrient. This means that the body needs it in a fairly large amount for a host of functions (insulation and cushioning, temperature regulation, protecting your internal organs, transporting your fat-soluble vitamins into body cells amongst other things).Nutrition science teaches us that 15-25% of our daily energy needs to come from a fat source.Fats can be divided into types, categories and chain-length: i) Types: Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs), Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs) and Saturated fats ii) Categories: Essential and Non-essential iii) Chain-length: Short-chain, medium-chain and long-chainWhile each gram of protein and carbohydrates has 4 calories, each gram of fat has 9 calories. The fact that fat is almost double the amount of calories for each gram bears testimony to the fact that you need a smaller amount to feel full. This also means that if you eliminate fat from your diet, you end up eating more carbohydrates. Don’t believe us? Next time, try eating a bowl of ‘fat-free’ pasta and a bowl of regular pasta and notice the difference in quantity consumption yourself. Post the fat-free pasta, you will also find yourself unsatisfied, restless and hungry within 40 minutes -1 hourNow perhaps you and people around you refer to yourself and each other as ‘fat’ in jest, but this does not necessarily mean that you’re getting enough good fat in your diet. Health industry experts went insane a few years ago when an epiphany struck us all — “Fat does not make us fat!”. Here are some warning signs that your fat intake may be inadequate:Dry, flaky, itchy skinChapped lipsExperiencing random bouts of feeling coldFeeling hungry due to lack of satiety and fullnessMental slugishness/lack of concentrationJoint painBrittle hair and nailsGoing back to our previous topic of categories of fat, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids come under the category of essential fats because our bodies aren’t able to produce them naturally. The focus of this article is to elucidate the strong associations between essential fat consumption and good looking skin. Read on to learn more about how adding omega-3 and omega-6 onto your diet can affect your skin:Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two types of PUFA’s which are the building blocks of a healthy cell membrane. Think of the cell membrane as basically a wall with some holes punched allowing for things to go in and out. The membrane allows nutrients and waste products to get in and out of the cell. A good membrane (which you can create by eating your omega-3’s and 6’s) won’t allow water to leave the skin cells thereby giving you moist, soft, subtle, hydrated and wrinkle-free skin.Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds — natural chemicals involved in the aging process, which affect how healthy the skin looks and feels.Omega-6 Fatty Acids help prevent skin drynessOmega-3 Fatty Acids nourish your skin, are important for radiance and add softness to your complexion.Omega-3s also seem to offer the skin protection against sun damage.Essential fats help prevent acne which tends to occur when glands over produce the substances keratin and sebum. They clog skin pores and result in skin infections. Essential fatty acids have a two-fold benefit for acne. First, they cause healthy cell transference, which helps dissolves the fatty deposits that block pores and cause acne. They also work to repair the skin damaged by pimples and blemishes.There is evidence to suggest that the healthier and more supple your skin cells, the less intense the appearance of cellulite. Consuming plenty of essential fatty acids will give your skin cells more fullness and flexibility, and thereby possibly reducing the appearance of cellulite.Food sources: Omega-3s: Ghee, Flaxseeds, Safflower oil, Walnuts, Soy and soybeans, Fortified eggs, Oily fish, Canola oil, Palak or Spinach, Pomogranate, Blackberries, Watermelon Omega-6s: Ghee, Cooking oils, Poultry, Grains, Seeds, Nuts, Green leafy vegetables and Avocado Long story short: we are asking (pleading almost) for you to include fat in your diet in moderation! Why then would you go out and torture yourself with detoxes and scams? Are you a fan of dry skin and looking older than your actual age? We didn’t think so. So add 1-2 tsps of ghee to your roti and make the transition back to full-fat milk guilt-free. We assure you that this won’t make you fat! You can hunt us down and thank us later at your own time.

Top 5 Fat Burning Foods

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Wish mosquitoes sucked fat instead of blood? Wish your fat will magically transfer to your enemy? Most of us want to get rid of unwanted fat as soon as possible, any way possible. We wish for a great body and health, but do we really dig deep enough into the basics to understand the biology of it all? Well, let's understand in detail- about the types of fat, their causes and effects on human body before we tell you the top 5 fat burning foods which you can easily include in your daily lives:Facts About Fats!There are two types of fat that our body carries which helps in both ways (good and bad); Essential fat and Storage fat. Let's see what it is all about.Essential Fat ⇒ Good fat ⇒ helps in normal functioning of body ⇒ Stored in muscles, organs, central nervous system of body ⇒ Men carry 3% of this kind of fat while women carry 12%.Storage Fat ⇒ gathered underneath our skin ⇒ protects our organs from injuries ⇒ Men and women carry similar amount ⇒ Storage fat could be dangerous if it's % drastically increases in your body ⇒ % of storage fats depends upon person to person ⇒ most normal amount of fat for men 3 -19% and women can carry up to 21- 35 % of storage fat in their body.The increase in storage fat is mostly because of wrong eating habits and very less physical activity. Calorie dense foods, when consumed will increase the percentage of fat in our body and lessen the muscle. Diabetes, heart attacks and other health problems can put you at risk due to high storage of fat in body.If you are really keen to lose unwanted fat, we have a list of the top 5 fat burning foods, that can help in your quest to a toned body!List of fat burning foodsEggsThese are the best source of protein which is very efficient in burning fat because protein requires much time to digest that is why body needs more energy to burn calories in compare with other foods. So, recommendation for eggs generally seen more for any health complications.How much?You can eat 2 egg whites and one yolk in your diet.PearBeing packed with fibre, this fruit also have amazing flavour and taste.And of course if you are planning to work on your weight, you can any time rely on this fruit without the fear of adding extra calories to your unwanted body parts.How much?2 pears a day is not at all bad for an individual exceptional for medical issues.Raw vegetableVegetables are full of water and fibre , you can easily rely on them any time of the day.They could be in the form of healthy salads with minimal dressing which will keep you full for long due to more fibre content and also make you feel lighter due to less calories and loads of water content.Read more to know about importance of high fibre foods.How much?2 servings of it would be sufficient per day.LentilsRole of beans and lentils in your diet is very crucial.This fills your appetite and keep your energy levels high.It contains zero saturated fat and cholesterol.They should not be taken raw ; they must be cooked in different ways according to the taste.It works really best for the people who are hard core vegetarian especially who in need of good protein in their diets.How much?1 to 2 servings of it is enough per day .Make sure you are free of medical condition like acute uric acid or any other medical complications.Green TeaIt is an amazing antioxidant drink as it contains catechin , natural phenol and antioxidant which will help you to fight with extra fat and also keep you away from minor stomach issues.Get more information on Green tea and weight loss.How much?2 to 3 servings of green tea can be best for you. If you don’t like plain, feel free to explore flavoured ones with high quality.However, these foods are meant to facilitate fat burning. But consuming loads of these foods will not make you skinny in a short time. You still need to exercise and eat appropriately.

What Is Trans-Fat and How to Avoid It

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in beef, lamb, and full-fat dairy products but most trans fatty acids in our diet come from hydrogenated and processed foods. Trans fats enhance the flavor, texture, and shelf life of many processed foods -- from cookies to frozen products. Unfortunately, they come with many health risks Trans fat gives a double dose of bad news, as it increases bad cholesterol, which is actually Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and decreases good cholesterol, which is actually high density lipoprotein (HDL). The ratio of LDL to HDL helps determine your risk factor for heart disease.Trans fatty acids or trans fats are basically transforming liquid fat into solid fats. It is done by the process of hydrogenation (by adding hydrogen atoms). Which is why trans fats are also called Hydrogenated Fat.Now the question is why is there the need for Hydrogenation of oil?This is done to increase the shelf life of fat.Trans fats can be found in any grocery list of foods including vegetable shortening, margarine, crackers cereals, candies, baked goods, cookies, granola bars, chips, snack foods, salad dressings, fats, fried foods, and many other processed foods.Products that contain partially hydrogenated oils or vegetable shortening may contain Trans fats.Several serious health issues could be caused by consumption of trans-fatty acids: • Coronary Heart Disease • Alzheimer's Disease • Obesity • Liver Disease • Infertility • Cancer and Diabetes Because of the serious health risks that seem to be linked to trans fat consumption, you need be careful of food products with trans fat.Here are some ways which can help you in making a better choice.1. Read the nutrition label to check the amount of Trans fat present in the product. If in the ingredients section, it says “partially hydrogenated”, ”hydrogenated”, ”Shortening”, then it contains trans fat even if they haven’t mentioned ‘Trans Fat’ because all above mentioned ingredients contain trans fat. 2. When you can’t avoid trans fats, choose the foods labeled “partially Hydrogenated”, so that you consume a lower amount of trans fat. 3. Whenever you are eating out, if possible then do ask your server what oil they are using for preparation. If available ask for healthier oil (vegetable oils like sunflower, soyabean, safflower oil) or try to skip deep fried foods. 4. Try to avoid all processed, fried and commercially available foods as much as possible. 5. Avoid street food which uses same oil for re-frying foods. If you really can’t avoid it, then check whether there is froth formation in the oil in the vessel being used. If yes, then you should stay away from that food. 6. When you are out for grocery shopping always pick liquid oils over solid fats as liquid oils contains little to no trans fat. 7. Choose lean meat void of all visible fat. 8. Choose reduced, low fat or no fat dairy foods.Completely avoiding trans fat is close to impossible in this day and age. But if we are relatively cautious of consuming processed or deep fried foods, we can reduce it’s harm to our body. Also, maintain an overall healthy balanced diet and regular exercise routine to further prevent trans fat from affecting your health.