When making healthy decisions about your child’s diet and potential for obesity, knowing what foods contain animal fat is essential. Animal fat contains saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. These have been linked to heart disease and high cholesterol. Foods that contain animal fat are plentiful and, as a parent, it is essential to understand how food preparation may be contributing the potential of obesity in your child. According to Heart.org, virtually all meat and dairy products contain animal fat as well as tropical oils. This includes foods that are cooked with these ingredients.
Obesity Related to Fat in Dairy and Eggs
To help you understand how what your children eats may be leading them down the path to obesity, it is important to understand about the fat in dairy products and eggs. The fat that is a part of dairy products is animal fat. Dairy products come directly from cows. Butter, cream, yogurt, milk that isn’t skim and cheese contain animal fat with dietary cholesterol. Cheese contains animal fat from the milk and also from the rennet which is an essential ingredient in making cheese. Cooking with these foods does not lessen the fat content. The animal fat may undergo chemical changes, but is still present in the food. The protein that comes from eggs is also derived from animal fat, although it doesn’t come from the flesh of the animal. Diary and eggs are a different form of animal fat than meat and poultry as they do not originate from the flesh of the animal.
Obesity Related to Fat in Meat and Poultry
All meat including beef, pork, poultry, lamb and even some fish contain animal fat that contributes to dietary cholesterol. They all contain levels of saturated fat which is the leading cause of high cholesterol in Americans. Animal fat in meat comes directly from the flesh of the animal. Most Americans consume the muscle tissue of animals. This is the part of the animal that contains the highest level of saturated fat. Wild animals are recommended for consumption due to lower saturated fat. This is because they only carry excess fat on their bodies certain times of the year. Internal organs of animals are edible and contain less fat than muscle, but are not a preferred source of animal fat in Western diets.
Obesity Related to Fat in Processed Food
Animal fat is present in nearly every processed food. This is because capric acid, tallow, and emulsifiers are added to many common processed foods. Capric acid is a fatty acid made from animal fat that is added to ice cream. Many emulsifiers, used to hold ingredients together, are made from animal fat. Emulsifiers are often found in chocolate and baked goods like pastries. The most common animal fat emulsifier found in processed food is lard. Tallow is a type of animal fat that is sometimes found in potato chips and even in hard candy.
What Parents can Do Related to Obesity and Fat
All parents care and love their children and do not knowingly seek to harm them in any way. Sometimes harm is done but just plain not knowing. In order to parent knowingly related to obesity and fat in the food you prepare or buy for your children there is one good strategy to keep in mind… read all food labels well as animal fat is hidden in many food items.
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