One gram of fat yields 9 calories when digested and assimilated in the body. Hence they are called the powerhouse of energy. The fats not only provide energy but also play a major role in contributing to the development of heart problems. After the digestion, if the level of fat traveling in the blood is high then, these fat molecules tend to get deposited within the walls of the arteries. Repeated deposition leads to the formation of thick plaques of fat. This condition is called atherosclerosis. As and when the fat plaques start growing, it narrows the lumen and in turn the total diameter of the artery. The blood at this junction passes with great difficulty and with a higher pressure. This increases our blood pressure. Higher blood pressure is the main reason for strokes. A complete blockage of the arteries leading to the heart leads to a heart attack as there is a complete cut off of the blood flow to some of the heart tissues making it dead.
Dietary fats can be divided into two types-
1. Saturated Fat: These are solid at room temperature. All animal fats are saturated in nature.
2. Unsaturated Fats (mono and polyunsaturated): They are liquids at room temp and mainly plant derived.
With all the prevailing problems of consuming fats, they are still very important in the diet as they have some vital functions to play. They are important for the absorption of some vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). They also form an integral part of the structure of the hormones. They form an important structural component of the membranes in the body and hence provide the required structural support. For all these vital functions, the body requires around 18 gms of fat per day.
This daily requirement is met from the invisible sources of fat ie; the fats present in smaller quantities in the cereals (rice, wheat, ragi, bajra, corn, maize, jowar etc), pulses, dhals, vegetables, and fruits. Hence there is no necessity for the external addition of fat in the diet in the form of oils, ghee, butter, cream cheese etc.
Every oil is harmful may it is saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated because ultimately they increase the total triglycerides in the blood, which gets deposited in the coronary arteries, leading to blockages and heart disease. Fats and cholesterol are the single most important group of nutrients to limit in your diet if you want to help to reduce your risk of chronic disease. Heart disease and cancer, this nation’s two leading killers, are linked to diets high in fat, and other chronic health problems may be impairing by high-fat diets. And yet our national diet contains as much as one-third more fat than it should.
In SAAOL we recommend 130 mg/dl, as the required level of cholesterol and 100 mg/dl, as the required level of triglycerides, in blood for reversal of heart disease. A level above this is very harmful to heart patients especially, as any ‘extra’ cholesterol will ultimately lead to further blockage in the coronary artery, and will slow down the healing process drastically. All the nuts and seeds, whether they are almonds, walnuts or flax seeds, all of them contain a huge amount of fat in them, 100 gm of almonds gives around 60 gm of fat, 100 gm of walnuts give 55 gm of fat and 100 gm of flaxseeds give 58 gm of fat that means, and in SAAOL we recommend only 18 gm of fat in a day for reversal of coronary heart disease, so a heart patient can’t even imagine having these things because of any reason or logic given by anybody because of excessively high-fat content, which ultimately leads to blockage.