Simply Sunday

Welcome to Simply Sunday here at the Health and Food Forum’s blog.  Oils and fats are the center of discussion for today’s post.  How well do you know your oils and fats?  Take our quiz and find out!

  1. Trans fats are only found in margarine products.  TRUE OR FALSE
  2. Most of the fat in your diet should come from beef.  TRUE OR FALSE
  3. Because of its high saturated fat content, coconut oil should be avoided.  TRUE OR FALSE
  4. Foods that are mostly made up of monounsaturated fats are solid at room temperature.   TRUE OR FALSE
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in beef products. TRUE OR FALSE

ANSWERS:*

  1. FALSE: Trans fats can be present in several foods, especially in commercially prepared baked goods (e.g., cookies, pastries, etc.,).  They are also found in foods that are commercially fried, such as french fries.  Although trans fats can be found naturally in some foods, such as beef, trans fats are predominately manmade by hydrogenating vegetable oils to make them more solid.  Consuming “unnatural” trans fats has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.  It is recommended that you avoid products that have partially hydrogenated fats in their ingredients.
  2. FALSE: Most of the fat in your diet should come from fish and plant-based foods, such as nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.  Fatty fish, such as salmon, are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are greatly polyunsaturated and have been shown to decrease the risk for developing atherosclerosis.  Oils and fats from plant-based foods tend to be  higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids which are associated with decreased total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.  Monounsaturated fatty acids are also associated with increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
  3. FALSE: About half of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are in the form of lauric acid – a medium-chain saturated fat which can be converted by the body into monolaurin.  Monolaurin has been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal effects, boosting the immune system.  Some studies show that coconut oil can protect against heart disease by increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.  Other investigations have shown that coconut oil promotes weight loss because the burning of the medium-chain saturated fatty acids by the body for energy actually increases the metabolic rate.
  4. FALSE: Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature.  Saturated fats are mostly solid at room temperature.
  5. FALSE: Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in fatty fish, such as salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel.  They are also found in flaxseed, soy, and walnuts in the form of alpha-linoleic acid.

*Answers were obtained from the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Edition, Duyff, R.L. and The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, 2005, Murray, M.

Need help determining if a product is too high in fat?  Using the Eat This? and Shop to Lose apps for the iPhone can make it easier to identify products that meet your nutrition goals.

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Filed under fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, saturated fat, trans fat

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