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Eat right amount of good fat to stay healthy

16 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: How much one should eat to stay fit, healthy and disease-free?

Consume between 20-35 percent of your calories from dietary fat, increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, according to a research.

According to a latest paper from the US-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, dietary fat for the healthy adult population should provide 20-35 percent of energy, with an increased consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and limited intake of saturated and trans fats.

"Nutritionists can help people understand that a total diet approach is more beneficial than simply reducing dietary fat and replacing it with carbohydrates, as a high intake of refined carbohydrate can also negatively affect health," said the study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The paper recommended a food-based approach through a diet that includes regular consumption of fatty fish, nuts and seeds, lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes.

A simple and effective way to improve health is to eat more fish, nuts and seeds and to consume fewer desserts and convenience foods, it added.

"Fat is a critical nutrient, and certain types of fat, such as omega-3s and omega-6s, are needed for good health. For this and other health reasons, a fat-free diet is not recommended," it noted.

Fish is an excellent source of the omega-3s EPA and DHA while flax, walnuts and canola oil are good sources of ALA omega-3.

Different foods provide different types of fat. Some fats improve your health (omega-3s help your heart and brain) while some are detrimental to your health (trans fat increases heart disease risk factors), the paper said.

End.

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