The main sources of good fats in the diet are fish and plant foods, such as olives, olive oil and avocados. In addition to providing energy and protecting the heart, these foods are also sources of vitamins A, D, E and K, important for preventing problems such as blindness, osteoporosis and bleeding.
However, animal or hydrogenated fats, such as those present in meat, stuffed crackers, and ice cream, are bad for health because they are rich in saturated or trans fats, which favor the increase in cholesterol and the appearance of atherosclerosis.
Recommended amount per day
The recommended amount of fat to be consumed per day is 30% of the total daily calories, but only 2% can be trans fat and a maximum of 8% saturated fat, as these are harmful to health.
For example, a healthy adult with adequate weight needs to consume about 2000 kcal per day, with about 30% of that energy coming from fats, which gives 600 kcal. As 1 g of fat has 9 kcal, to reach 600 kcal one must consume about 66.7 g of fats.
However, this quantity must be divided as follows:
- Trans fat (up to 1%): 20 kcal = 2 g, which would be achieved with the consumption of 4 slices of frozen pizza;
- Saturated fat (up to 8%): 160 kcal = 17.7 g, which can be found in 225 g of grilled steak;
- Unsaturated fat (21%): 420 kcal = 46.7 g, which can be achieved in 4.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Thus, it is perceived that it is possible to easily exceed the recommendation of fats in the diet, being necessary to be attentive so that the main consumption is good fats.
Amount of fat in food
The following table shows the amount of fat in the main foods rich in this nutrient.
|Food (100g)||Total Fat||Unsaturated Fat (Good)||Saturated Fat (Bad)||Calories|
|Avocado||10,5 g||8,3 g||2,2 g||114 kcal|
|Grilled salmon||23,7 g||16,7 g||4,5 g||308 kcal|
|Brazil nut||63,5 g||48,4 g||15,3 g||643 kcal|
|Linseed||32,3 g||32,4 g||4,2 g||495 kcal|
|Grilled beef steak||19,5 g||9,6 g||7,9 g||289 kcal|
|Grilled bacon||31,5 g||20 g||10,8 g||372 kcal|
|Roasted Pork Loin||6,4 g||3,6 g||2,6 g||210 kcal|
|Stuffed cookie||19,6 g||8,3 g||6,2 g||472 kcal|
|Frozen lasagna||23 g||10 g||11 g||455 kcal|
In addition to these natural foods, most industrialized foods include many fatty acids, and to know exactly the amount of fat, one must read the labels and identify the value that appears in the lipids.
Main sources of Unsaturated Fat (Good)
Unsaturated fats are good for health, and can be found mainly in foods of plant origin such as olive oil, soybean, sunflower or canola oil, chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, chia or avocado. In addition, they are also present in sea fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines.
This group includes monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats, which help prevent heart disease, improve cell structure and help absorb vitamins A, D, E and K in the intestine. Read more at: Good fats for the heart .
Main sources of Saturated fat (Bad)
Saturated fat is a type of bad fat found mainly in foods of animal origin, such as red meat, bacon, lard, milk and cheese. In addition, it is also present in large quantities in industrialized products ready for consumption, such as stuffed crackers, hamburgers, lasagna and sauces.
This type of fat increases cholesterol and accumulates in blood vessels, which can cause veins to clog and increase the risk of heart problems such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Trans Fat (Bad)
Trans fat is the worst type of fat, as it has the effect of increasing bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol in the body, greatly increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems and cancer.
It is present in industrialized foods that contain hydrogenated vegetable fat as an ingredient, such as ready-made cake doughs, stuffed cookies, margarines, packaged snacks, ice cream, fast food, frozen lasagna, chicken nuggets and microwave popcorn.
See other nutrients at: