Please read my first 2 posts , Fats in a nutshell and Types of fats: to eat or not to eat, before you listen to this podcast as it builds on the basics discussed in those posts. Enjoy!

Podcast Script

Hello readers,

This is Sangeeta Pradhan and I hope you have had a chance to at least skim my first 2 posts on the structure and functions of dietary fats as this podcast builds on that.  As we have noted, fats do serve important functions in the body and we must have a certain minimum amount for good health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends approx. 20-35 % of calories from fats on a daily basis with a higher intake of polyunsaturated fats and reduced intake of saturated and trans fats.

I would also like to mention that dietary cholesterol ironically, has a relatively smaller effect on blood cholesterol compared to saturated fats and trans fats.  Recently in the news there was a study that was calling into question the impact of saturated fats on heart disease. But the study was deeply flawed according to experts and a new version had to be released to correct several errors.

The research at this time points to replacing saturated fats and trans fats with mono and polyunsaturated fats.  Hence it is important to replace those undesirable fats with desirable ones.  When fats are replaced with refined carbohydrates however, this can decrease your healthy, HDL cholesterol that unclogs your arteries which is clearly counterproductive and increases another form of fat called triglycerides

The biggest drivers of blood cholesterol and LDL are saturated and Trans fats. It is advised that one keep one’s saturated fat intake down to 10 % of total calories, and less than 7% of total calories if you have heart disease and minimal amounts of trans fats.  ( < 1%). Trans fats are also associated with decreased HDL and increased inflammation, the basis of all chronic disease and increase risk of Type 2 diabetes

So what exactly are trans fats? Trans- fats are produced when liquid vegetable oils are “hydrogenated” artificially by food manufacturers to produce a semi-solid spreadable product such as margarine.  This process alters food texture, making baked products flakier (well, as it turns out, in more ways than one!), since these resulting trans fats as we now know are detrimental to health, perhaps even more so than saturated fats.

By law, since 2006, food manufacturers are required to display the amount of trans fats in grams on food labels. I  would  be on the lookout for  ”partially hydrogenated” soybean or vegetable oils in a variety of commercial products, esp. baked goods as this is your cue that there is some trans fats lurking in there.

Last but not the least, I would also like to address the coconut controversy.  Recently I was alarmed when some of my patients, (one of them being a nurse to my dismay), threw out her bottle of olive oil and replaced it with coconut oil. Her theory was that “she had been reading how healthy they were”

Turns out that medium chain fatty acids are not stored by the body and since coconut has Medium chain fats, these folks put 2 + 2 together and came up with 5! The fact of the matter is that the studies that were done were on medium chain fatty acids with 8 and 10 carbon chains. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are primarily 12 and 14 carbon chains, so the studies did not even apply to them.

Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats, so I would caution you readers to limit your intake of coconut products at this time.

I hope this review was helpful, please stay tuned for more information on fats as we keep busting common myths associated with them next week.  Have a great week! Thank you.

Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE


Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored for your unique needs.

6 Responses to Podcast

  1. I have read many articles on fat and cholesterol but this podcast of yours is crystal clear and you have presented with such clarity…this difference of saturated/trans fat vs. the mono and polyunsaturated fats, and also the process of hydrogenated…these are some of finer nuances always get mixed and we all get confused in differentiating and knowing the real fact.

    Thanks so much for sharing such insightful aspects of approaching good health…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much, Nihar! I created this podcast when my blog was less than 2 months old, and at a time when I had not built a follower base, so very few people may have actually listened to it. Hence it’s rewarding to get your kind and positive feedback as always. Wonder if I should reblog it?? (Just thinking aloud). Really appreciate all your thoughtful comments. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This information is always relevant, more appropriate today, and these are some facts not known to many. I suggest you can add few images related to fast food and healthy food and show them the correlation with food habits and lifestyle disease, that hits us from no where, we need to careful and these days packed foods have all these hidden stuff unless we make ourselves aware of the differences…yes, with little changes you should reblog it.

    I’m sure many may not be knowing the different fats and which is bad and which needs to be avoided…

    Always a pleasure reading your post.
    Take care!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Nihar,

    I really appreciate your constructive and positive feedback as always. In particular, thanks so much for taking the time to make helpful suggestions. I will try to reblog…or bring this very relevant topic as you mentioned, back into the spotlight somehow..


    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have so much valuable information to share and these insights are not known to many, you present the facts and analysis with lucidity and in such nice way…health is what ultimately matters and today with the food and the changing lifestyle we need to know the flip side…
    Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

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