Why you should avoid fatty foods during festival days

We all know that additives make the food we eat have a good taste and flavour. But unfortunately most of the additives are made of the fatty oils that are fried with food or added directly to the prepared meal.
Dr Joseph Kamugisha
Dr Joseph Kamugisha

We all know that additives make the food we eat have a good taste and flavour. But unfortunately most of the additives are made of the fatty oils that are fried with food or added directly to the prepared meal.

Oils such as mayonnaise, butter-cheese, among many other tasty food additives, constitute fatty substances that can easily damage our health. The fats and oils that are usually added to our meals can cause a variety of health problems like heart disease, cancer, obesity or even diabetes.

 Although our body usually requires a regulated amount of lipids from the meals we take, consumption of large amounts of fats and oils can be detrimental to the overall health of an individual. This largely depends on the kind of fats and oils we take on a daily basis or at a given period of time.

Fats and oils are commonly known to cause coronary heart problems especially when their level in blood goes beyond the regular norm.

The fats and oils consumed from the usual food we eat contain triglycerides that contain complex structures. They have structures with complex hydrogen bonds and this makes them contain saturated hydrogen bonds.

Usually the chemical structure of the fat will determine its strength or rigidity to break down at room temperature. The saturated fats contain maximum number of hydrogen atoms a carbon chain can hold and this renders them rigid. This also the more you have saturated fats in your body; there is high likelihood to damage your health.

The fatty foods usually contain triglycerides and cholesterol. Although the body needs a regulated amount of such chemical nutrients, too much of them cause heart diseases among others.

For example, excess cholesterol in your blood can lead to heart disease, as the substance deposits along the walls of arteries and this blocks or reduces blood flow.

As cholesterol builds up in these blood vessels, there is formation of a plaque or an obstacle that eventually forces your heart to pump blood at a higher pressure than normal and is the basis of cardiac insufficiency or heart failure.

Saturated fats found in fatty foods usually contain the cholesterol, which increase the levels of low density lipids. Therefore, the more saturated fats and cholesterol you consume, the greater your risk may be for developing cardiovascular disease.

Obesity is a state in which your percentage of body fat is abnormally high. Now when you consume more calories than you burn, your body stores the excess fats in tissues. If this situation continues over an extended period of time, you can become overweight and eventually obese.

Dietary fat supplies more calories than proteins and carbohydrates. It is therefore easier to become obese when you eat large amounts of fats and oils than when you feed on fat free meals.

Obesity itself can be dangerous to your health, as it is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, hypertension, among others.

A diet high in fats and oils not only contributes to obesity and heart disease, but can expose you to some certain cancer diseases such as the cancer of the colon.

Currently more research is underway to support the evidence of the relationship between colon cancer and consumption of high amount of saturated fats. If possible, measurement of fat or oils in the food material before consumption is ideal.

Sometimes you can manually assess for example if food leaves a greasy mark on your napkin, you can be sure that it contains a significant amount of fat.

But sometimes it is very difficult especially when the fat is hidden as an ingredient as seen in salads or other mixed fatty oils and foods.

Dr Joseph Kamugisha  is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel

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