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Difference between Fats and Oils

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Modern fad diets have zeroed in on fats and oils as the main culprits. In fact, you need a healthy amount of both, just in order to stay healthy. If you thought that fats and oils are basically the same thing and that the only thing you need to do is to avoid them, think again. Both fats and oils have very different roles to play in your body. Isn’t it time you knew the difference between the two?

The basic difference between fats and oils, as most people know, is that fats are solid at room temperature while oils are liquid. However, room temperature does vary from place to place and according to the season. Just because your butter is a mess at 38*c, does not mean it’s an oil. So, don’t fool yourself!

Both fats and oils form a part of a well defined dietary plan. When you want to turn a fat into oil, you just need to turn the temperature up. When it reaches a certain temperature, the fat turns into oil. However, once you go on heating the oil, it starts smoking. This is the point where it releases toxins. These toxins stay on even after the oil has cooled down. Reality check? If you thought that deep fried stuff was better than your jar of butter, think again. Those French fries, fried in repeatedly reheated oil, is causing you more harm than a bit of butter on your toast.

Hydrogenated oils are something we come across on a daily basis- they are in your favorite pack of chips, your ready to make soup packs and even in that packet of biscuits. Hydrogenation is the process of refining the oil in your foodstuff till it becomes almost impossible to spoil. This process destroys all the nutritional value of the oil and reduces it into a mass of stuff your body can well do without.

Fats are basically divided according to whether they are saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature and contribute to higher cholesterol levels in the blood. You will do well to eliminate these from your diet. Unsaturated fats are typically those that do not raise your cholesterol all that much. Fats usually come from animal sources.

Oil, on the other hand is usually a purified form of the fat. These usually come from plant sources. There are a number of cooking oils used across the world. The common ones are olive oil, palm oil, corn oil and sunflower oil. If you are feeling confused about the total amount of fats and oils you can incorporate into your diet safely follow the recommendation of the FDA. It says that less than 30% of the total calories in your diet should come from fats and oils. If you are trying to lose weight, you should bring that down to round 10% only.

Fats and oil are important parts of your diet. Take them in moderation and you will have a healthier and happier life.

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