Posted by: Thixia | May 11, 2008

Swank Diet 3 of 3




The main energy-providing components of food are protein, fat, carbohydrate and alcohol. Of these, weight for weight, fats provide the most energy at 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and proteins. There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated (fats and oils). Fats are broken down in the body to form three kinds of fatty acids as follows:

saturated fatty acids

monounsaturated fatty acids

polyunsaturated fatty acids.





Saturated fats are those lipids containing mainly saturated fatty acids found in animal fat, processed (hydrogenated) vegetable oils, coconut and palm oils. Saturated or animal fats are solid or hard at room or refrigerator temperatures.




Both vegetable and animal products contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Abundant sources are sunflower, safflower, rapeseed (canola), corn and soybean oils. Salmon and trout are meat sources.




These are found mainly in vegetable oils and nuts. Olive oil is an excellent source of this fatty acid.




When reading labels you will become familiar with this term. Polyunsaturated fats do not resist spoilage. When exposed to the air they begin to oxidize and become rancid. Chemically, unsaturated fats contain many double bonds. The process of hydrogenation adds hydrogen to reduce the number of double bonds, thereby making the oil saturated (solid) and more resistant to oxidation. This extends the shelf life of the product.


“Non-fat” products may contain as much as 5 grams of saturated fat! When eating so-called non-fat products, count each serving as 1 gram of saturated fat.


Your diet will consist of no more than 3 teaspoons (15 grams) of saturated fat per day.


Your diet should contain a minimum of 4 teaspoons (20 grams) unsaturated fat (oil) and must not exceed 10 teaspoons (50 grams) daily. (5 grams = 1 tsp.)




Essential fatty acids are necessary nutrients in the diet. Because of the reduced consumption of saturated fat, it is suggested that you increase the consumption of unsaturated fats (oils).


Essential fatty acids are necessary for the function of the nervous system. The body is able to synthesize most of the fatty acids needed for growth but must rely on necessary food sources for small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as Essential Fatty Acids. Fats and oils are a concentrated source of energy; each gram of fat or oil (9 calories per gram) supplies twice as much energy as protein or carbohydrate (4 calories per gram).


On a low-fat diet, you may notice drying of your skin and hair, and easy fatigability, if your intake of unsaturated fat (oil) per day is limited. Your lifestyle will dictate the amount of unsaturated fatty acids necessary in your diet. If you are working and exercising, you may need to increase your oil. If you are sedentary, 4 teaspoons (20 grams) per day will usually be sufficient.


The following oils may be used in your diet:

·    sunflower seed

·    olive

·    safflower

·    sesame seed

·    rapeseed (canola)

·    cottonseed

·    linseed

·    soybean

·    peanut

·    flax seed





Do not reuse oil when cooking.

Always refrigerate oil after opening to avoid rancidity (except olive oil).

Keep olive oil in a cool, dark place (do not refrigerate).

Do not heat oil to the smoking point.

Count oil used in cooking in your daily oil allowance.

Three (3) teaspoons of oil = one (1) tablespoon. Sixteen (16) tablespoons of oil = one (1) cup.

If an oil clouds or hardens at refrigerator temperature, do not use. (Olive oil is the exception to this rule.)





I am starting a series on diets for healthy living.  I, myself, do not necessarily adhere to all or any of these diets.  I am merely presenting them to you so that you may be able to make an informed decision about your own diet.


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