Foods that contain the most fat should be eaten infrequently. The fat content in food is made up of fatty acids or a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fat. The difference between these fats is how much hydrogen they contain. Saturated fats contain the most hydrogen and are the worst for your body.
Fats Are Important In Food Taste
Fat is an important ingredient in many foods because it gives the food a creamy, rich taste. Fats also are important in baked goods, keeping them moist and tasty.
Fat Is an Essential Nutrient
Fat is also an important part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. Fats provide energy for stamina. Fats contain essential nutrients needed for healthy skin and other hormonal needs.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture has developed a food pyramid to show people how much food they need to eat from each food group. Fat is the smallest section on the food pyramid. The USDA has on its website an interactive pyramid that you can use to determine the exact fat content of the food you eat each day.
Dietary Guidelines for Fat Consumption
The 2005 Adult Dietary Guidelines for fat consumption is approximately 25 to 35 percent of our daily caloric intake. The 25 to 35 percent fat you need should only include 7 to 10 percent saturated fats.
According to The American Heart Association, "Saturated fat is the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol (heart disease). Saturated fat is found mostly in foods from animals (meat and dairy) and some plants (such as nuts)".
Most of the following foods will use up your 25 to 35 daily allowance of fat in one serving. The meat, dairy and nut group contain saturated fat. Also, most snack foods contain nuts and dairy products as well, which are highly saturated.
Meats and Dairy
Meats are high in saturated fat: Stewed Beef
Hot dogs Bratwurst Bologna Salami Chicken/yurkey or beef pot pie Pre-packaged frozen dinners Bacon Hamburger
Beverages/dairy/milk: Latte drinks Whole milk Two-percent milk Milk shakes Cheese Sour cream Clam chowder Creamed soups
Nuts and Oils
Should you choose butter or margarine as a healthier fat? According to the American Heart Association, "Because butter is rich in both saturated fat and cholesterol, it's potentially a highly atherogenic food (a food that causes the arteries to be blocked). Most margarine is made from vegetable fat and provides no dietary cholesterol. The more liquid the margarine, i.e., tub or liquid forms, the less saturated it is."
Nuts and oils: Vegetable oil Shortening
Salad dressing Peanut Butter Cashews Peanuts Sunflower seeds Macadamia nuts
Fried foods are fried in shortening, butter or oil, so all the fat that is in the oil is soaked into the food:
French fries Onion rings Potato chips Fried zuchinni
Cheese Dishes and Desserts
These dishes contain cheese, but possibly also rich creams and milk: Pasta and cheese dishes Cheesy potatoes Cream-based soups and casseroles Macaroni and cheese Cheese raviolis
Snacks and desserts usually have a high fat content, but also have lots of sugar which will make them high in calories.
Snacks and desserts: Cheesecake Pies topped with whip cream Coconut Ice cream Donuts
Chocolate Cookies Cream pies Cinnamon rolls Cake with frosting Packaged snack foods
Other foods high In fat: Egg yolks
Potato salad Mashed potatoes and gravy Turkey stuffing Most fast-food Pizza