~~Oils, called "Fats" in nutritional literature, are both essential and dangerous to health, depending on quantity and type of oil. Fats are found in all the cells of the body as energy storage, as structural component of cell walls, and are essential in the transport for a number of "fat soluble vitamins-A, D, E and K" through the body. Apart from these functions, some fats, particularly those derived from vegetable sources provide what is known as â€œessential fatty acidsâ€ (EFA) which has vitamin like functions in the body.
Fats in the diet can be of two kinds, the visible and invisible fat. The visible fats are those derived from animal fats like butter, ghee which are solid fats and those derived from vegetable fats like groundnut, mustard, safflower, til which are liquid fats.
In recent years, there has been a revival of interest in the nutritional aspect of fats on two counts. One is the excessive intake of fat in diet in increasing the level of cholesterol in blood. LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is the main carrier of cholesterol in the blood and is called â€˜badâ€™ cholesterol because it causes atherosclerosis. A diet with too much fat, and especially too much of the wrong kind of fat, presents a high risk of stroke, obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It may also make you appear ugly and undesirable to many people, possibly resulting in social, employment and emotional problems. On the flip side, "supermodel thin" is pretty ugly and unhealthy too.
A diet deficient in fat will result in itchy, flaky skin known as â€˜Phrynodermaâ€™ toad skin and other problems, but a diet that deficient takes real determination to achieve since fats are found not only in animal products but in grains, nuts, beans and just about anything else considered edible.
Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.
Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Dt. Neena Luthra, who is a diet and nutrition consultant. The contents of this article are intended for informational purpose only and do not constitute any medical opinion or advice. Readers are requested to seek formal nutritional advice prior to acting on any information provided herein.