Fats

Plate

Fats are a dense source of energy for the body and aid in the transport of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. The body also uses fats to store energy, cushion vital organs and for insulation.

Fats provide more energy than other macronutrients; fats provide 9kcal/g while carbohydrate and protein provide 4kcal/g each. Excessive energy intake may lead to weight gain and other related health issues.

Total fat intake a day should be limited to 25 to 30% of total calorie intake, of which less than 10% is from saturated fat. The balance should come from mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

Types of Fats
Plate

Good Fats Bad Fats
Monounsaturated Fat
Benefits: When consumed in moderation in place of ‘bad’ fats, monounsaturated fat helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Sources:

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
Saturated Fat
Disadvantages: Saturated fats increases LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and thus increases the risk of heart diseases.

Sources:

  • Animal fats (e.g. butter, lard)
  • Fatty meats
  • Skin
  • Full fat dairy products (e.g. full cream milk)
  • Palm oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut cream
Polyunsaturated Fat (Omega-3)
Benefits: Omega-3 can help lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Sources:

  • Fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, and tuna)
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Omega-3 fortified products
Trans Fat
Disadvantages: Trans fat raises LDL (bad) cholesterol while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels, leaving one vulnerable to heart diseases.

Sources:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Pastries
  • Commercially deep-fried food prepared with shortening or partially hydrogenated oils
Polyunsaturated Fat (Omega-6)
Benefits: Omega-6 boosts heart health by reducing total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Sources:

  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
Recommended Daily Intake Male Female
Calorie 2,200 kcal 1,800 kcal
Good Fat 49g 40g
Saturated Fat ≤ 24g ≤ 20g
Trans Fat ≤ 2g ≤ 2g

The values indicated above are average estimated values for adults.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information only, it is not meant to substitute direct medical advice from your doctor or clinician.

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Click here to see the fat content of common local food.