Nutrient Information: Total fat (NLEA)

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Nutrient Key Information 
Nutrient Name: Total fat (NLEA)
Nutrient Category: Macronutrients (Proximates)
Unit Name: g
Nutrient Summary: Provide energy for the body. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories. The acceptable range of energies coming from total fat for adults is 20-35%. Fat is categorized into:
1) saturated fatty acids
2) cis monounsaturated fatty acids
3) cis polyunsaturated fatty acids
4) trans fatty acids
Diets higher in saturated fat and trans fat increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Nutrient Function:

  • Fat provides calories (energy) for the body
  • Act as the "insulation" for the body to against temperature extremes
  • Help body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K)
  • Structural components of cell membranes
  • Play an important role to the nerve tissue and retina
  • Maintain healthy skin and hair
  • Support key body processes, such as nervous system function, reproduction, and immune response.
  • Adipose tissue which consists of adipose cells actively secretes several hormones to help regulate energy balance.
  • Omega-3 eicosanoids (a polyunsaturated fatty acids) help lower blood pressure, prevent blood clot formation, protect against irregular heartbeats, and reduce inflammation.
  • Omega-6 (a polyunsaturated fatty acids) may lower LDL cholesterol and improve insulin resistance. However, omega-6 eicosanoids may promote blood clot formation, inflammation, and blood vessel constriction.


Saturated fat: usually solid at room temperature. It can be synthesized by body, no health benefit. It may increase the LDL cholesterol which increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, so intake as low as possible.
Monounsaturated fat: usually liquid at room temperature. It can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Monounsaturated fat can also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain body cells. Usually oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contain vitamin E.
Polyunsaturated fat: usually liquid at room temperature. It is essential fatty acid. The common polyunsaturated fats are linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). They cannot be made by the body, must be obtained through the diet.
Trans fat: not essential to body, no health benefit. Usually formed artificially during food processing. It may raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.


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Food Sources

Monounsaturated fat: avocados, olives, olive oil, canola oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, high-oleic safflower oil. Animal products, primarily meat fat. Nuts, such as macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios.
Polyunsaturated fats Omega-3: fatty fish (salmon, sardines, trout) and fish oils, flaxseed oil, chia seed. The recommended intake for omega-3 fatty acids is about 500 mg per day.
Polyunsaturated fats Omega-6: nuts (pine nuts, walnuts), seeds, and vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, corn, canola, and soybean oils).
Saturated fat: animal fats, butter, cheese, coconut, baked goods, condiments, gravies, dairy products, meats and poultry, salad dressings, sweets, tropical plant oils, and vegetable shortening.
Trans fat: traditional stick margarine and vegetable shortenings that have been partially hydrogenated. Various bakery products and fried foods prepared using partially hydrogenated oils. Milk, butter, and meats (such as beef and lamb) also contain trans fatty acids but at lower levels.

Notes:
• Recommend 20-35% of energy (calories) comes from fat for adults. 1 gram fat generates 9 calories.
• Try to minimize the intakes of saturated fat and trans fat and instead use unsaturated, especially polyunsaturated (such as omega-3 fatty acids), fats.
• To reduce saturated fat intake, try to take the "round" or "loin" cuts for beef and pork. For poultry, try to remove skin.
• Fried fish products are often low in omega-3 fatty acids and high in trans and saturated fatty acids.
• Some ocean fish and shellfish contains higher amount of mercury, so try to limit the intake amount for those fishes: golden snapper or golden bass, swordfish, king mackerel, etc.

Sample Foods High in: Total fat (NLEA)
View Additional Food Sources
Food Description Nutrient Amount1 Daily Value%2
Butter, stick, salted
Category: Dairy and Egg Products
65 g 83.33%
Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
53.4 g 68.46%
Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dry roasted, with salt added
Category: Nut and Seed Products
52.1 g 66.79%
Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt
Category: Legumes and Legume Products
47.9 g 61.41%
Pork, cured, bacon, cooked, restaurant
Category: Pork Products
34.6 g 44.36%
Cheese, cheddar
Category: Dairy and Egg Products
29 g 37.18%
1 Nutrient amount is in 100 gram food
2 Use FDA 2000 calorie diet as Daily Value reference



Additional Nutrient Information
Nutrient Summary Provide energy for the body. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories. The acceptable range of energies coming from total fat for adults is 20-35%. Fat is categorized into:
1) saturated fatty acids
2) cis monounsaturated fatty acids
3) cis polyunsaturated fatty acids
4) trans fatty acids
Diets higher in saturated fat and trans fat increases risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Deficiency Health Effects Inadequate intake of dietary fat may result in negative energy balance, impaired growth, reproductive failure, skin lesions, kidney and liver disorders, and subtle neurological and visual problems.

Though carbohydrate can be a replacement of fat for energy, low-fat and high-carbohydrate diets may alter metabolism in a way that increases the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. Lack of polyunsaturated fatty acids may cause rough scaly skin and dermatitis.
Effects if Above Upper Limit Body has virtually unlimited capacity to store fat in the adipose cells. High-fat diets in excess of energy needs may cause obesity. High Saturated Fat or Trans Fat intake may increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
External References • The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine publication: Dietary Reference Intakes
• US FDA Website: Interactive Nutrition Facts Label - Total Fat
• Nutrition Science Book: Understanding Nutrition by Ellie Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes
Additional Information NLEA stands for Nutrition Labeling and Education Act



Daily Value Age Group Recommended Daily Values Daily Value Upper Limits
Toddler 1 to 3 years old: 44 g
Child 4 to 8 years old: 54 g
Male 9 to 13 years old: 70 g
Male 14 to 18 years old: 101 g
Male 19 to 30 years old: 109 g
Male 31 to 50 years old: 101 g
Male 51 to 70 years old: 93 g
Male Senior 71 or older: 86 g
Female 9 to 13 years old: 70 g
Female 14 to 18 years old: 78 g
Female 19 to 30 years old: 86 g
Female 31 to 50 years old: 78 g
Female 51 to 70 years old: 70 g
Female Senior 71 or older: 70 g
Female Pregnancy (>18): 86 g
Female Lactation (>18): 86 g
FDA (Based on 2000 calorie daily diet): 78 g 78 g


Dietary Reference Intakes The nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and nutrition facts is from Institute of Medicine of National Academies 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537
US FDA Nutrition Education Nutrition facts knowledge are based on U.S. FOOD & DRUG Administration Nutrition Education Resources & Materials. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/
National Institutes of Health Nutrition facts knowledge are based on National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-all
Disclaimer The nutrient information provided here should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (such as your doctor) about your dietary requirements which are best for your overall health. We also recommend you to read organization or professional reference documents or articles mentioned, but not limited to, in this page. Any mentions and reference links in this page don't represent our endorsement of their services and advice.


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