Nutrition discussion (Fats – what’s the latest?)

  • 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:…
  • Watch
  • 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:
  • 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!

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