Dietary fat: definition and examples

Good day, dear readers! From this article you will learn how to identify and include into your diet healthy fats or, as they are called, diet fats.

Dietary fat is  consumed with the food we eat. Fat is the main source of energy in our diet. One gram of pure fat contains 9 kilocalories, which is more than twice the number of calories in carbohydrates  or  proteins (4 kcal / gram). Dietary fat is different from the fat deposits in our body. Eating foods high in fat, due to their high caloric content, increases the chance of overweight accumulation or the development of obesity.

Dietary fats

Dietary fat  is different from body fat. Thus, body fat in the body is excess energy, which is stored to provide us with fuel during fasting. They also provide protection for our organs and heat insulation. Fat deposits are called adipose tissue and can be stored as subcutaneous fat (under the skin) or visceral fat  (around the organs).

The easiest  definition of dietary fat  is simply the fat that we eat with food. Many foods that we eat have some fat, even if the food does not look greasy or unhealthy. Dietary fat provides important functions in our body if we eat the “right” fats. However, it must be remembered that with excessive consumption of fatty foods can accumulate fat deposits.

Different Fat Types: Definitions

There are different types of fats that we consume with food. Some of them are more beneficial to our health, others less, but there are also harmful to the body. Consider them.

  • Saturated fats.  When we eat animal fats, it is usually saturated fat. Some plant sources, such as coconut and palm oil, also supply saturated fat.

Saturated fat is firm at room temperature. Examples of saturated fats are butter and beef tallow. A high level of saturated fat in our diet can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, doctors recommend limiting the intake of saturated fat from food. They should be less than 7% of the total daily calorie intake.

  • Trans fats . The most dangerous type of fat are trans fats. These fats are solid at room temperature. They are used in the manufacture of products to increase their shelf life. Food manufacturers must list trans fats on labels. In addition, you also need to look at the list of ingredients that contain the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in order to find trans fats in food. This must be done because trans fats do not provide any health benefits and may even be dangerous to the body. Medical experts recommend avoiding products containing trans fats.
  • Monounsaturated fats.  Monounsaturated fats (MNZH) are often called “good fats.” These healthy dietary fats come from plant sources and are usually liquid at room temperature. Examples of monounsaturated fats are sunflower and olive oil, canola oil and avocado oil. MNZh help to reduce the level of”bad” cholesterol(low density lipoprotein, LDL), so dietetics recommend, if possible, to choose products with monounsaturated fats, and not with saturated fats.
  • Polyunsaturated fats.  Another type of healthy fat is polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and provide significant health benefits. For this reason, nutritionists recommend that from 3 to 10 percent of polyunsaturated fat from total daily calories be present in the diet. Good sources of polyunsaturated fats are salmon, tuna and other fish that live in cold water.

What is dietary fat?

The dietary fat that you consume is either burned by our body as fuel or is stored in the body as fatty tissue. Some fats are also found in plasma and other cells. Adipose tissue helps isolate the body and provides support and cushioning of organs.

Those who want to lose weight may want to eliminate dietary fat from their diet, because it has more calories than carbohydrates or proteins. However, consumption of dietary fat in moderation is important for good health.

Many experts recommend that fats in the diet give no more than 30 percent of the required daily calories. Therefore, depending on the daily calorie intake, our daily fat grams will vary. For example, if the daily calorie content of your diet is:

  • 1600 calories, then you should consume 53 grams of fat or less;
  • 2200 calories – 73 grams of fat or less;
  • 2800 calories – 93 grams of fat or less.

It is recommended that no more than 10 percent of daily calories be saturated fats. Trans fat should be avoided.

I hope this article will help you in choosing foods containing dietary fat. Do not forget that all fats to maintain the balance of calories and achieve a healthy weight, must be consumed in moderation.