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Health Hazards of Excess Fats in Diet (From Mr NANA, Provincial High School of Kaya)

Fats form part of the food we eat everyday. They form a component since they provide the body with a very high store of energy which contributes to our daily existence. Compared with carbohydrates (starchy food) or proteins, fats give, more than twice the energy, weight for weight. However, it is very important, for health reasons to watch the quantity and type of fats that we consume in our diet.

The daily requirement of fat is about 60 gm which is about 2.5 oz. The various sources of fats are consumed include:

- Animal fats (from beef, pork, lamb, sheep, etc.)
- Poultry fat (from chicken, especially with the skin on, eggs).
- Dairy products (milk, butter, cheese)
- Plant or vegetables oil (e.g. palm oil, groundnuts, oil, soya bean oil).

After eating a fatty meal, the human body breaks down the fat and the products enter the body cells. In the body, the fat is used for energy and excess is stored. The storage of excess fat in the body results in obesity. When we eat, some of the starchy food or carbohydrates which are in excess can be turned into fat resulting in fats under the skin, stomach (abdomen and hips). Some of the fat is turned into Cholesterol which circulates in the body and blood and may lead to clogging of the blood vessels. It is this cholesterol that causes problems in the body. The major problem is the effect they have on the have on the heart when the fat plaques form cholesterol block the arteries to the heart ( the Coronary Heart Disease - CHD)

There are various things that raise the blood cholesterol to dangerous levels in the body. These include the type of diet or food we eat, our life styles, e. g. exercise and smoking and influence of heredity among others.

As mentioned earlier, food, life-style, heredity etc. can affect cholesterol level. In some cases, the tendency for high cholesterol level is hereditary or inherited and these cases are referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia (that is to say high cholesterol of hereditary origin). It has also been well established that lack of exercise and excessive smoking can also lead to a high cholesterol level. Certain drugs such as oestrogene especially in contraceptive pills and some thiazide diuretics (used to treat patients with hypertension or heart failure) may increase cholesterol level.

Form Home Doctor, August 1990


Fat: la graisse.


Guided commentary (20points)

Answer the following questions is your own words

1) What are the main sources of fats? (3 points)
2) What is the importance of fats for the body? (3 points)
3) Give the fundamental difference between fats and proteins. (5 points)
4) What health problems can excess of fat bring about? (3 points)
5) Referring to your experience, say what category of people are likely to suffer from Coronary Heart Disease? (6 points)
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