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A Consumers Adviser to Fats

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 31 December 18:00   A Customer s Adviser to Fats

     Already aloft a time, we didn t understand annihilation about fat except

    that it create foods tastier. We adapted our aliment in drip or

    shortening. We advance adulate on our breakfast acknowledgment and plopped

    sour chrism on our broiled potatoes. Farmers bred their animals to

    produce milk with top butterfat agreeable and meat "marbled" with

    fat because that was what alotof humans capital to eat.

     But anytime back chat got out that diets top in fat are related

    to affection disease, things accept become added complicated. Experts tell

    us there are several altered kinds of fat, some of them worse for

    us than others. In accession to saturated, monounsaturated and

    polyunsaturated fats, there are triglycerides, auto blubbery acids,

    and omega 3 and omega 6 blubbery acids.

     Alotof humans accept abstruse something about cholesterol, and many

    of us accept been to the doctor for a claret analysis to apprentice our

    cholesterol "number." Now, however, it turns out that there s more

    than one affectionate of cholesterol, too.

     About every day there are bi-weekly letters of new studies

    or recommendations about what to eat or what not to eat: Drip is

    bad, olive oil is good, margarine is bigger for you than butter--

    then again, maybe it s not.

     Amidst the delight of ambagious agreement and adverse details,

    consumers are generally baffled about how to advance their diets.

     FDA afresh issued new regulations that will accredit consumers

    to see acutely on a aliment artefact s characterization how abundant and what affectionate of

    fat the artefact contains. (See "A Little Lite Reading" in the

    June 1993 FDA Consumer.) Compassionate the agreement acclimated to discuss

    fat is acute if you wish to create abiding your diet is within

    recommended guidelines (see accompanying article).

    Fats and Blubbery Acids

     Fats are a accumulation of actinic compounds that accommodate fatty

    acids. Activity is stored in the physique mostly in the anatomy of fat. Fat

    is bare in the diet to accumulation capital blubbery acids, substances

    essential for advance but not produced by the physique itself.

     There are three capital types of blubbery acids: saturated,

    monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. All blubbery acids are molecules

    composed mostly of carbon and hydrogen atoms. A saturated fatty

    acid has the best accessible amount of hydrogen atoms absorbed to

    every carbon atom. It is accordingly said to be "saturated" with

    hydrogen atoms.

     Some blubbery acids are missing one brace of hydrogen atoms in the

    middle of the molecule. This gap is alleged an "unsaturation" and

    the blubbery acerbic is said to be "monounsaturated" because it has one

    gap. Blubbery acids that are missing added than one brace of hydrogen

    atoms are alleged "polyunsaturated."

     Saturated fats (which accommodate saturated blubbery acids) are

    mostly begin in foods of beastly origin. Monounsaturated and

    polyunsaturated fats (which accommodate monounsaturated and

    polyunsaturated blubbery acids) are mostly begin in foods of plant

    origin and some sea foods . Polyunsaturated blubbery acids are of two

    kinds, omega-3 or omega-6. Scientists acquaint them afar by area in

    the atom the "unsaturations," or missing hydrogen atoms, occur.

     Afresh a new appellation has been added to the fat lexicon: trans

    fatty acids. These are byproducts of fractional hydrogenation, a

    process in which some of the missing hydrogen atoms are put back

    into polyunsaturated fats. "Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils,"

    such as vegetable abridgement and margarine, are solid at room



     Cholesterol is array of a "cousin" of fat. Both fat and

    cholesterol accord to a beyond ancestors of actinic compounds called

    lipids. All the cholesterol the physique needs is create by the liver. It

    is acclimated to body corpuscle membranes and academician and assumption tissues.

    Cholesterol aswell helps the physique aftermath steroid hormones bare for

    body regulation, including processing food, and acerbity acids needed

    for digestion.

     Humans don t charge to absorb comestible cholesterol because the

    body can create abundant cholesterol for its needs. But the typical

    U.S. diet contains abundant amounts of cholesterol, begin in

     foods such as egg yolks, liver, meat, some shellfish, and whole-

    milk dairy products. Alone foods of beastly agent contain


     Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in large

    molecules of fat and protein alleged lipoproteins. Cholesterol

    carried in low-density lipoproteins is alleged LDL-cholesterol; most

    cholesterol is of this type. Cholesterol agitated in high-density

    lipoproteins is alleged HDL-cholesterol. (See "Fat Words.")

     A being s cholesterol "number" refers to the absolute bulk of

    cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is abstinent in milligrams per

    deciliter (mg/dl) of blood. (A deciliter is a tenth of a liter.)

    Doctors acclaim that absolute claret cholesterol be kept beneath 200

    mg/dl. The boilerplate akin in adults in this country is 205 to 215

    mg/dl. Studies in the Affiliated States and additional countries have

    consistently apparent that absolute cholesterol levels aloft 200 to 220

    mg/dl are affiliated with an added accident of coronary affection disease.

    (See "Lowering Cholesterol" in the Advance 1994 FDA Consumer.)

     LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol act abnormally in the

    body. A top akin of LDL-cholesterol in the claret increases the

    risk of blubbery deposits basic in the arteries, which in turn

    increases the accident of a affection attack. Thus, LDL-cholesterol has

    been dubbed "bad" cholesterol.

     On the additional hand, an animated akin of HDL-cholesterol seems

    to accept a careful aftereffect adjoin affection disease. For this reason,

    HDL-cholesterol is generally alleged "good" cholesterol.

     In 1992, a console of medical experts convened by the National

    Institutes of Bloom (NIH) recommended that individuals should have

    their akin of HDL-cholesterol arrested forth with their total


     According to the Civic Heart, Lung, and Claret Institute

    (NHLBI), a basic of NIH, a advantageous being who is not at high

    risk for affection ache and whose absolute cholesterol akin is in the

    normal ambit (around 200 mg/dl) should accept an HDL-cholesterol

    level of added than 35 mg/dl. NHLBI aswell says that an LDL-

    cholesterol akin of beneath than 130 mg/dl is "desirable" to minimize

    the accident of affection disease.

     Some actual contempo studies accept appropriate that LDL-cholesterol

    is added acceptable to couldcause blubbery deposits in the arteries if it has

    been through a actinic change accepted as oxidation. However, these

    findings are not accustomed by all scientists.

     The NIH console aswell brash that individuals with top total

    cholesterol or additional accident factors for coronary affection ache should

    have their triglyceride levels arrested forth with their HDL-

    cholesterol levels.

     Triglycerides and VLDL

     Triglyceride is addition anatomy in which fat is transported

    through the claret to the physique tissues. Alotof of the physique s stored

    fat is in the anatomy of triglycerides. Addition lipoprotein--very low-

    density lipoprotein, or VLDL--has the job of accustomed triglycerides

    in the blood. NHLBI considers a triglyceride akin beneath 250 mg/dl

    to be normal.

     It is not bright whether top levels of triglycerides alone

    increase an alone s accident of affection disease. However, they may

    be an important clue that anyone is at accident of affection ache for

    other reasons. Some humans who accept animated triglycerides also

    have top LDL-cholesterol or low HDL-cholesterol. Humans with

    diabetes or branch disease--two altitude that access the risk

    of affection disease--are aswell decumbent to top triglycerides.

    Dietary Fat and Cholesterol Levels

     Some humans are abashed about the aftereffect of comestible fats on

    cholesterol levels. At first glance, it seems reasonable to think

    that bistro beneath cholesterol would abate a being s cholesterol

    level. In fact, bistro beneath cholesterol has beneath aftereffect on blood

    cholesterol levels than bistro beneath saturated fat. However, some

    studies accept begin that bistro cholesterol increases the accident of

    heart ache even if it doesn t access claret cholesterol levels.

     Addition delusion is that humans can advance their

    cholesterol numbers by bistro "good" cholesterol. In food, all

    cholesterol is the same. In the blood, whether cholesterol is

    "good" or "bad" depends on the blazon of lipoprotein that s carrying


     Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats do not advance the

    formation of artery-clogging blubbery deposits the way saturated fats

    do. Some studies appearance that bistro foods that accommodate these fats can

    reduce levels of LDL-cholesterol in the blood. Polyunsaturated

    fats, such as safflower and blah oil, tend to lower both HDL- and

    LDL-cholesterol. Comestible oils affluent in monounsaturated fats, such as

    olive and canola oil, however, tend to lower LDL-cholesterol

    without affecting HDL levels.

    How Do We Understand Fat s a Problem?

     In 1908, scientists first empiric that rabbits fed a diet of

    meat, accomplished milk, and eggs developed blubbery deposits on the walls of

    their arteries that attenuated the breeze of blood. Absorption of the

    arteries by these blubbery deposits is alleged atherosclerosis. It is a

    slowly advanced ache that can activate aboriginal in activity but not

    show affection for some years. In 1913, scientists articular the

    substance amenable for the blubbery deposits in the rabbits

    arteries as cholesterol.

     In 1916, Cornelius de Langen, a Dutch physician alive in

    Java, Indonesia, noticed that built-in Indonesians had abundant lower

    rates of affection ache than Dutch colonists active on the island.

    He appear this award to a medical journal, apperception that the

    Indonesians advantageous hearts were affiliated with their low levels of

    blood cholesterol.

     De Langen aswell noticed that both claret cholesterol levels and

    rates of affection ache soared apartof Indonesians who alone their

    native diet of mostly bulb foods and ate a archetypal Dutch diet

    containing a lot of meat and dairy products. This was the first

    recorded advancement that diet, cholesterol levels, and heart

    disease were accompanying in humans. But de Langen s observations lay

    unnoticed in an abstruse medical account for added than 40 years.

     Afterwards Apple War II, medical advisers in Scandinavia noticed

    that deaths from affection ache had beneath badly during the

    war, if aliment was rationed and meat, dairy products, and eggs were

    scarce. At about the aforementioned time, additional advisers begin that people

    who suffered affection attacks had college levels of claret cholesterol

    than humans who did not accept affection attacks.

     Back then, a ample physique of accurate affirmation has been

    gathered bond top claret cholesterol and a diet top in animal

    fats with an animated accident of affection attack. In countries area the

    average being s claret cholesterol akin is beneath than 180 mg/dl,

    very few humans advance atherosclerosis or accept affection attacks. In

    many countries area a lot of humans accept claret cholesterol levels

    above 220 mg/dl, such as the Affiliated States, affection ache is the

    leading couldcause of death.

     Top ante of affection ache are frequently begin in countries

    where the diet is abundant with meat and dairy articles absolute a

    lot of saturated fats. However, high-fat diets and top ante of

    heart ache don t accordingly go hand-in-hand.

    Learning from Additional Cultures

     Humans active on the Greek island of Crete accept actual low rates

    of affection ache even admitting their diet is top in fat. Alotof of

    their comestible fat comes from olive oil, a monounsaturated fat that

    tends to lower levels of "bad" LDL-cholesterol and advance levels

    of "good" HDL-cholesterol.

     The Inuit, or Eskimo, humans of Alaska and Greenland aswell are

    relatively chargeless of affection ache admitting a high-fat, high-

    cholesterol diet. The basic aliment in their diet is angle affluent in

    omega-3 polyunsaturated blubbery acids.

     Some analysis has apparent that omega-3 blubbery acids, begin in

    fish such as apricot and mackerel as able-bodied as in soybean and canola

    oil, lower both LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the

    blood. Some diet experts acclaim bistro angle already or alert a

    week to abate affection ache risk. However, comestible supplements

    containing concentrated angle oil are not recommended because there

    is bereft affirmation that they are benign and little is

    known about their abiding effects.

     Omega-6 polyunsaturated blubbery acids accept aswell been begin in

    some studies to abate both LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels in the

    blood. Linoleic acid, an capital comestible (one that the body

    cannot create for itself) and a basic of corn, soybean and

    safflower oil, is an omega-6 blubbery acid.

     At one time, some diet experts recommended increasing

    consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats because of

    their cholesterol-lowering effects. Now, however, the advice is

    simply to abate comestible assimilation of all types of fat. (Infants and

    young children, however, should not bind comestible fat.)

     The accessible advice on fats may be abundant and is

    sometimes confusing. But allocation through the advice becomes

    easier already you understand the agreement and some of the history.

     The "bottom line" is infact absolutely simple, according to John

    E. Vanderveen, Ph.D., administrator of the Appointment of Bulb and Dairy

    Foods and Beverages in FDA s Centermost for Aliment Assurance and Applied

    Nutrition. What we should be accomplishing is removing as abundant of the

    saturated fat from our diet as we can. We charge to baddest foods that

    are lower in absolute fat and abnormally in saturated fat." In a

    nutshell, that agency bistro beneath foods of beastly origin, such as

    meat and whole-milk dairy products, and added bulb foods such as

    vegetables and grains. n

    Eleanor Mayfield is a biographer in Argent Spring, Md.

    Fat Words

     Actuality are abrupt definitions of the key agreement important to an

    understanding of the role of fat in the diet.

    Cholesterol: A actinic admixture bogus in the body. It is

    used to body corpuscle membranes and academician and assumption tissues.

    Cholesterol aswell helps the physique create steroid hormones and bile


    Dietary cholesterol: Cholesterol begin in beastly articles that are

    part of the animal diet. Egg yolks, liver, meat, some shellfish, and

    whole-milk dairy articles are all sources of comestible cholesterol.

    Fatty acid: A atom composed mostly of carbon and hydrogen

    atoms. Blubbery acids are the architecture blocks of fats.

    Fat: A actinic admixture absolute one or added blubbery acids. Fat is

    one of the three capital capacity of aliment (the others are protein

    and carbohydrate). It is aswell the arch anatomy in which activity is

    stored in the body.

    Hydrogenated fat: A fat that has been chemically adapted by the

    addition of hydrogen atoms (see auto blubbery acid). Vegetable oil

    and margarine are hydrogenated fats.

    Lipid: A actinic admixture characterized by the actuality that it is

    insoluble in water. Both fat and cholesterol are associates of the

    lipid family.

    Lipoprotein: A actinic admixture create of fat and protein.

    Lipoproteins that accept added fat than protein are alleged low-density

    lipoproteins (LDLs). Lipoproteins that accept added protein than fat

    are alleged high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Lipoproteins are found

    in the blood, area their capital action is to backpack cholesterol.

    Monounsaturated blubbery acid: A blubbery acerbic that is missing one pair

    of hydrogen atoms in the average of the molecule. The gap is called

    an "unsaturation." Monounsaturated blubbery acids are begin mostly in

    plant and sea foods.

    Monounsaturated fat: A fat create of monounsaturated blubbery acids.

    Olive oil and canola oil are monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated

    fats tend to lower levels of LDL-cholesterol in the blood.

    Polyunsaturated blubbery acid: A blubbery acerbic that is missing added than

    one brace of hydrogen atoms. Polyunsaturated blubbery acids are mostly

    found in bulb and sea foods.

    Polyunsaturated fat: A fat create of polyunsaturated blubbery acids.

    Safflower oil and blah oil are polyunsaturated fats.

    Polyunsaturated fats tend to lower levels of both HDL-cholesterol

    and LDL-cholesterol in the blood.

    Saturated blubbery acid: A blubbery acerbic that has the best possible

    number of hydrogen atoms absorbed to every carbon atom. It is said

    to be "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. Saturated blubbery acids are

    mostly begin in beastly articles such as meat and accomplished milk.

    Saturated fat: A fat create of saturated blubbery acids. Adulate and lard

    are saturated fats. Saturated fats tend to accession levels of LDL-

    cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) in the blood. Animated levels of

    LDL-cholesterol are associated with affection disease.

    Trans blubbery acid: A polyunsaturated blubbery acerbic in which some of the

    missing hydrogen atoms accept been put aback in a actinic process

    called hydrogenation. Auto blubbery acids are the architecture blocks of

    hydrogenated fats. n


    Government Advice

     Comestible guidelines accustomed by the U.S. Administration of

    Agriculture and the U.S. Administration of Bloom and Animal Services

    advise consumers to:

     Abate absolute comestible fat assimilation to 30 percent or beneath of total


     Abate saturated fat assimilation to beneath than 10 percent of


     Abate cholesterol assimilation to beneath than 300 milligrams daily. n


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