What are the different types of fat that a food can contain? How are they different?
Food may contain saturated fat, trans fat, or unsaturated fat. Fat is a major source of energy for the body and aids in the absorption of vitamins. Both animal and plant-derived food products contain fat. When eaten in moderation, fat is important for proper growth and maintenance of good health. As a food ingredient, fat provides taste, consistency, and stability and helps us feel full. In addition, parents should be aware that fats are an especially important source of calories and nutrients for infants and toddlers (up to 2 years of age), who have the highest energy needs per body weight of any age group.
Saturated and trans fats raise LDL (or "bad") cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. Dietary cholesterol also contributes to heart disease. Unsaturated fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, do not raise LDL cholesterol and are beneficial when consumed in moderation. Therefore, it is advisable to choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as part of a healthful diet.
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- Is Stevia an 'FDA approved' sweetener?
- How do I report a complaint about restaurant food?
- How do I report a complaint about food bought in a supermarket?
- FDA Basics Webinar: Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)
- FDA Basics Webinar - Using a Food Label to Make Smart Food Choices
- FDA Basics Video: Michael R. Taylor on Food Safety and Nutrition
- Are foods made with "organic" ingredients safer than those made with ingredients from other sources?
- How do the activities of USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service differ from the activities of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition?
- Who makes sure the food I buy at the grocery store is safe to eat?
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- How does FDA recommend washing fruits and vegetables?
- How long can I keep my food in the refrigerator/on the shelf?
- Does FDA inspect grocery stores, restaurants, or dollar stores?
- Which foods should I stay away from during pregnancy?
- Has Stevia been approved by FDA to be used as a sweetener?
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- How long can food that is supposed to be refrigerated stay outside of the refrigerator and still be safe to eat?
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