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Q. & A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Dietary Fat Intake

Board Certification: Family Practice

Board Certification: Family Practice

This Month’s Topic- Dietary Fat Intake

Question:  Dr. Kiskila, I’ve heard that in order for the body to sufficiently absorb vitamins and minerals, it’s beneficial to include fat in a daily diet.  How much fat should a person consume?

Answer: Generally, fat consumption is factored into a percentage daily caloric intake, which varies based on age, sex, and activity level. The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary fat to 30% of total calories. The average person should consume between 85- 100 grams of fat per day.

Question: What are good sources of fat?

Answer: Good fats are the polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, which mainly include fish oil and vegetables. Tree nuts are high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat, making cashews, peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, and hazelnuts good fat.  Olives, avocados, sunflower seeds, canola oil, sesame, peanut oil, and peanut butter are sources of monounsaturated fat.    Examples of polyunsaturated fat are corn oil, soybean oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, tofu, soymilk, and fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and trout.

Question: What are bad sources of fat?

Answer: Foods made of trans fat and saturated fat contain the unhealthy fat.   Trans fat is used in the manufacturing of food to sustain the freshness of the product.  Known as the “bad fats,” saturated fat and trans fat elevate cholesterol levels and increase risk of heart disease. Commercially-baked foods, such as cookies, pastries, doughnuts, cakes, muffins, pizza dough, chips, and crackers are all made of trans fat.  All fried foods, including breaded fish, are sources of trans fat. Even a stick of margarine and vegetable shortenings are considered bad fat.  High-fat cuts of pork, beef, lamb, and chicken with the skin are saturated fat.  Other examples of saturated fat include whole-fat dairy products, such as milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream, coconut, and palm oil.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.