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Tips for reduction in fat intake

This topic provides information related to Tips for reduction in fat intake.

Excess of fat intake is a risk factor for obesity and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Change how you cook

  • While cooking, prefer boil, steam, roast, grill or bake rather than frying.
  • Measure cooking oil with a spoon rather than pouring freely from the bottle, or use spray for oil.

Change your cooking oil regularly

Make sure that you change your cooking oil every three months and prefer to use two different types of oils at a time.You can choose from following combinations:

  • Groundnut / Sesame / Rice bran / Cottonseed + Mustard/ Rapeseed
  • Groundnut /Sesame / Ricebran / Cottonseed + Canola
  • Groundnut / Sesame / Rice bran / Cottonseed + Soyabean
  • Safflower / Sunflower + Palm oil/Palmolein + Mustard/ Rapeseed
  • Sunflower / Safflower + Palmolein / Palm oil / Olive
  • Safflower / Sunflower + Groundnut / Sesame / Ricebran / cottonseed

Limit the consumption of saturated fats

  • High intake of saturated fats is a risk factor for heart disease. Make sure that you restrict the use of butter or ghee.
  • If you are a non-vegetarian prefer eating lean meat sources like chicken or fish over red meat or organ meat.

Use fats and oils in moderation

  • In your routine cooking, use fats and oils in moderation and consume varieties of foods to get good proportion of all fatty acids for optimal health benefits.
  • Restrict your intake of bakery foods or processed foods.

Chose low fat dairy products

  • Opt for low-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, low-fat cheese or curd made at home with low fat milk.

Avoid trans fats

They are the worst type of fats, they raise the bad cholesterol (VLDL and LDL-c) and lowers the good cholesterol (HDL-c) in our body. Trans fats have been linked to heart diseases, overweight/obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancers. They are present in large quantities in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats (Vanaspati, Margerine, bakery shortenings). In prepared foods, trans fats are found in:

  • Bakery products: Biscuit, fan, rusk, cake etc.
  • Fried foods: Bhatura, poori, pakora, bhujiya, fried savoury mixtures (namkeens) etc
  • Re-heated oils: Small amounts of trans fats are also formed when the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying; not only at commercial outlets but even at household levels.

Ways to avoid Trans Fats:

1. When cooking

  • Avoid using "Vanaspati" ghee for any kind of cooking.
  • When deep frying the foods (Poori/pakora etc.), do not heat the oil for a very long time before and during cooking. Prefer to not leave the food in the oil for a very long time.
  • Do not reheat the oil or re-use the same oil for frying. The oil which has once been used for frying can be used for the preparation of vegetables, curries, dals etc.
  • Use smaller vessel (kadhai, etc.) at home for deep frying. This will allow you to do frying using a lesser amount of oil/fat.
  • Limit the consumption of baked/processed foods like biscuit/fan, cake, chips, fried savoury mixtures (namkeens, etc.).

Tips & Warnings: Small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in meat and diary products, so choose lean cuts of meat and low dairy products.

When doing grocery shopping

  • Check the Nutrition fact panel on packaged food items for TFA content, if it mentions TFA content more than 0.2 gram per serving then avoid the product and search for some healthy substitute.
  • Sometimes the Nutrition fact panel on the food product does not mention the word Trans fatty acid/Trans fat, in such cases always check the ingredient list on the packaged food for the words like "shortening" or "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil", these contain high amount of trans fats. If it is mentioned then avoid the product and choose a healthier alternative.

Tips & Warnings: Small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in meat and diary products, so choose lean cuts of meat and low dairy products.

When eating out / ordering outside food

It might be easy to control what you cook in your home to eat, but when eating at a restaurant try controlling the TFA intake by doing the following:

  • Ask the owner/server regarding the type of fat/oil being used for preparing the food.
  • Avoid foods that are prepared/ fried in vanaspati or margarine.
  • Avoid consuming commercial fried foods like fried aloo chaat, french fries samosa, bhatura etc. prepared in Vanaspati. They are also high in fat.
  • Avoid baked/processed foods like cookies, chips, cake's and patty.

Tips & Warnings: Small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in meat and diary products, so choose lean cuts of meat and low dairy products.

Source : Eat Right India initiative of FSSAI

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