Congee, Food, Porridge

Get your fats straight

Get your fats straight

We have been told to include a variety of foods in our meals, every day. Our bodies need six essential nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre from dietary sources, as well as water, for proper body function. Enjoying a well-balanced and wholesome diet from the 5 food groups keeps you healthy and makes you feel good from the inside.

Of all the nutrients, fats often get a bad rap for their connection to chronic diseases. Before we jump on the fats is bad wagon, let us first consider if fat is detrimental to our health? Absolutely? Maybe not.

Dietary fats are essential for

· providing energy,

· maintaining a healthy nervous system,

· supporting cell function,

· protecting organs,

· keeping cholesterol levels and blood pressure in-check,

· and the absorption of nutrients

Good Fats & Bad Fats

Now that we know fats can be good for us, do we know which fats are better? Dietary fats and/or fatty acids can be derived from both plant and animal sources. Some fats have amazing health benefits, but others, maybe not so much.

Let us have a better understanding of fats by breaking it down to four types of fats commonly found in the foods we eat:

The not-so-desirable fats

Trans fat

Trans fat forms when vegetable oils get hardened through hydrogenation. This process turns liquid oil into solid fats at room temperature. Trans fat boosts LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol. Consuming high amount of trans fat increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is so bad that some countries have banned the use of trans fat, totally.

Where can it be found?

  • Processed foods (Pastries, Cookies, Doughnuts, Crackers, Microwave Popcorn, Frozen Pizzas, etc.)
  • Fast-Food Items (French Fries, Chicken Nuggets, Fried Chicken, Fried Fish, etc.)
  • Non-Dairy Creamers

Saturated fat

Also known as “solid” fats, saturated fat is primarily found in animal products, as well as high-fat dairy products. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fat can lead to cholesterol build-up in the arteries, raising bad cholesterol levels, and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Where can it be found?

  • Fatty cuts of meat (beef, pork, lamb)
  • Poultry with skin
  • Processed meats (sausage, bacon, salami)
  • Snack foods (chips, crackers)
  • Fried foods
  • Tropical Oils (Coconut oil, Palm oil, Palm kernel oil, etc.)

The good fats

Polyunsaturated fat

Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are healthy for our body. Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent blood clotting in the arteries and decrease triglyceride levels (bad fat) in the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Where can it be found?

  • Vegetable Oils: (Soybean oil, Corn oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, and Flaxseed oil)
  • Nuts and Seeds. (Walnuts, Sunflower seeds, Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, and Pine nuts)
  • Fatty Fish. (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Herring, and Trout)
  • Tofu and Soy Products
  • Leafy Green Vegetables (Spinach and Kale)
  • Whole Grains

Monounsaturated Fat:

Monounsaturated fats are fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. Do you know that studies have suggested that moderate intake of monosaturated fat can help you lose weight? Consumption of monosaturated fats also helps to reduce LDL and overall cholesterol levels in the body.

Where can it be found?

  • Oils (Olive oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Avocado oil)
  • Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds)
  • Nut Butter (Almond butter, Peanut butter)
  • Fruits (Avocado)
  • Olives (Green olives, Black olives)
  • Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Trout)
  • Meat (Skinless poultry, Lean pork)

Enjoy your favourite meals, mindfully.

Conscious and mindful eating was never about giving up our favourite foods. It is a process of enjoying the journey from farm to table and into our tummy. So, don’t be afraid of fats because fats are essential nutrients for optimal body functions.

Incorporating fats into your diet is important but opt for healthier choices. Stir away from trans fats, cut down on foods high in saturated fats and include more foods that contain unsaturated fat. At Shane’s Kitchen, we go all out to grab the freshest ingredients, keeping the bad fats low and loading up on the good ones—all for your health and your family’s too. We add olive oil to the congee and porridge mix in Singapore to keep it good for your heart. Our Salmon Tomato Broth, Celeriac and Fennel Fish Broth, and Original Fish Stock are rich with the goodness of Omega 3, available for home delivery in Singapore.

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