- Fats do not cause people to become overweight in and of themselves. Total calories in relation to the person’s metabolism, activity, life stage, muscle composition, and many other factors help in determining how many calories a day we need (we will learn this in the energy metabolism module later in the semester). However, because fats are more than twice the caloric value of sugars & starches, this is part of the reason why the AMDR is 20-35% and the AMDR range is at 45-65%. But, saturated fats, regardless of one’s weight, are the least healthy type of fat.
- Very few subjects related to nutrition are debated as much as the fats–which are good, which are not, and how to make food choices that take everything we know about them into account. A classic example is the advice on butter vs. margarine, which has gone back and forth over the years, in response to the evolving science. In the most recent update of the USDA Dietary Guidelines, it has been determined from the scientific data that cholesterol is no longer of concern from foods, and will not cause a rise in LDL if consuming excess cholesterol. HOWEVER, saturated fats will cause an increase in LDL levels in blood and therefore are to be avoided to reduce risk of heart disease.
- As we learned, LDL is carrying 50% or more cholesterol through the bloodstream to the cells, however, too high of a level of LDL in circulation is not a good thing. So, along with an increase in all calories (where excess calories are stored in adipose tissue), perhaps too much in excess sugars (which would be converted to fats in excess) and saturated fats can affect levels in blood, however, cholesterol in food is no longer considered a factor.
- Watch the 3 min CBS news video:
- Read the Omega article (posted in Learning Module 5 table of contents)
- Read the following articles:
- Here is the Conclusion to an article cited below:Nutritional recommendations for dietary fats and oils continue to evolve as we learn more about the impact of FAs [Fatty Acids] on health. However, most nutritional organizations agree that the consumption of saturated fats should be decreased and polyunsaturated fats and [omega]-3 FA consumption should be increased. Making major alterations in the lipid composition of foods can be quite challenging because solid fats have important physical properties that allow the formation of foods such as baked goods, butter, and ice cream. In addition, polyunsaturated oils and [omega]-3 FAs are very susceptible to oxidation, leading to development of off-flavors, loss of nutrients, and formation of potentially toxic compounds. Therefore, the substitution of highly unsaturated fats for solids fats could have negative nutritional consequences unless technologies are utilized to prevent their oxidation. These challenges, along with the removal of hydrogenated fats from the food supply, are driving food manufacturers to utilize oils high in MUFAs because these FAs have higher melting points and are more oxidatively stable. MUFAs [monounsaturated fatty acids] tend to be neutral with regard to heart health so this change in fat source could lead to further unintended consequences in consumer health (entire article:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424769/).
- Healthiest oils are those that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oil and olive oil. These types of fats can help lower your risk of heart disease when used instead of saturated and trans fats. When it comes to cooking, however, not all oils are created equal. Some oils can handle the heat, and some can’t. An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it will start to smoke and break down. When cooking oil starts to smoke, it can lose some of its nutritional value and can give food an unpleasant taste. Oils with high smoke points, such as corn, soybean, peanut and sesame, are good for high-heat frying and stir-frying. Olive, canola and grapeseed oils have moderately high smoke points, making them good for sauteing over medium-high heat. Oils with low smoke points, such as flaxseed and walnut, are best saved for use in salad dressings and dips.-Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., specialty editor for the Mayo Clinic Nutrition and Healthy Eating Guide for the Foundatoin for Medical Education and Research
- Choose one or more of the following to provide a thorough response (as well as comments to two others):
- Discuss ways you might change your diet to use the latest research on “heart healthy” (as opposed to “harmful”) diets into account?
- What is smoke point? What happens to an oil which is heated to beyond its ‘smoke point?’
- Which types of fats are best for heart health and why?
- Share some specific changes you have made or would be willing to make in your food selections (at home or when eating out).
- Feel free to respond to any of the information you read and/or viewed. If you wish to search very recent, published information from scientific peer-reviewed journals, please do!
Expert Solution Preview
In this assignment, we will discuss various aspects related to fats and their impact on health. We will explore the role of fats in causing overweight and the factors that determine the number of calories a person needs. We will also discuss the effects of saturated fats on heart health and the latest research on “heart healthy” diets. Additionally, we will delve into the concept of smoke point and its implications for cooking oils. Finally, we will identify the types of fats that are considered best for heart health and analyze specific changes individuals can make in their food selections. This assignment aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between fats and health.
Answer to the content:
Fats do not cause people to become overweight in and of themselves. Instead, the total calories consumed in relation to an individual’s metabolism, activity level, life stage, muscle composition, and other factors determine their weight. The number of calories a person needs varies based on these factors and will be elaborated on in the energy metabolism module later in the semester. While fats are more than twice as caloric as sugars and starches, they play a role in the caloric intake and distribution necessary for a balanced diet. This is why the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) recommends that 20-35% of total calories come from fats, within a wider range of 45-65%.
However, it is important to note that not all fats are equal when it comes to health. Saturated fats, regardless of an individual’s weight, are considered the least healthy type of fat. They have been shown to contribute to an increase in LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in the blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid or limit the consumption of saturated fats to reduce this risk.
It is worth mentioning that the topic of fats in nutrition is the subject of ongoing debate and research. One classic example is the fluctuating advice on butter versus margarine, which has changed over the years in response to evolving scientific evidence. Recent updates to the USDA Dietary Guidelines acknowledge that dietary cholesterol from food is no longer a concern for raising LDL cholesterol levels. However, saturated fats are still considered detrimental to heart health and should be avoided.
In terms of heart-healthy diets, nutritional organizations generally recommend decreasing saturated fat intake and increasing the consumption of polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fats can have a positive impact on heart health. However, making significant alterations to the lipid composition of food products can be challenging. Solid fats, such as those found in baked goods, butter, and ice cream, possess important physical properties that contribute to the structure and texture of these foods. Additionally, polyunsaturated oils and omega-3 fatty acids are susceptible to oxidation, which can lead to the formation of off-flavors, nutrient loss, and potentially harmful compounds. Therefore, the substitution of highly unsaturated fats for solid fats should be approached carefully, utilizing technologies to prevent oxidation.
When it comes to cooking, the smoke point of an oil is a crucial aspect to consider. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and break down. Heating an oil beyond its smoke point can result in the loss of its nutritional value and the development of an unpleasant taste. Oils with high smoke points, such as corn, soybean, peanut, and sesame oil, are suitable for high-heat frying and stir-frying. Olive, canola, and grapeseed oils have moderately high smoke points, making them appropriate for sautéing over medium-high heat. Oils with low smoke points, like flaxseed and walnut oil, are better suited for use in salad dressings and dips.
In conclusion, the consumption of fats should be evaluated based on their impact on overall health. While fats themselves do not cause weight gain, the type and quantity of fats consumed play a significant role. Saturated fats are considered the least healthy and should be limited to reduce the risk of heart disease. Healthier fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oil and olive oil, are recommended for heart health. Smoke point is an essential concept in determining the suitability of oils for specific cooking methods. By being mindful of fat choices, individuals can make changes to their diet that align with the latest research and promote overall well-being.