Fat is a very concentrated source of energy. It contributes more than twice asmany calories (9 calories per gram) as carbohydrate (4 calories per gram) orprotein (4 calories per gram). Diets high in total fat, especially saturated fat areassociated with higher obesity rates. You probably know that obesity itself is a riskfor heart disease, stroke and diabetes.Did you know that the Dietary Guidelines for Singaporeans recommend that weshould restrict our total fat intake to 25-30 % of total energy intake? For example, aperson on a 2000-calorie diet should keep his or her fat intake to less than 67g perday.So how many types of fat are there? Types of fat can be categorized into 3 types.They are namely, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. A healthy dietshould comprise most of monounsaturated fats, more of polyunsaturated fats andleast of saturated fats. Why?Saturated fats tend to increase blood cholesterol levels. A person whose diet ishigh in saturated fat foods tends to have more of the “bad cholesterol” than the“good cholesterol”. High amounts of “bad cholesterol” increase the risk of plaqueformation or blockage to occur in arteries leading to the heart or to brain. In thelong run, blood flow to the heart muscles or to brain will be obstructed leading to aheart attack or stroke.There are 2 types of unsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats help to reduce totalcholesterol and “bad cholesterol” while monounsaturated fats help not only toreduce total and “bad cholesterol”, but also increase “good cholesterol” protectingagainst heart disease even more.So, what are examples of these fats? Vegetable blended cooking oil (these containpalm olein), lard, ghee, coconut cream, butter, cocoa butter and palm oil are madeup of mostly saturated fats and should be used in moderation.Corn/soybean/sunflower/safflower/peanut cooking oils and margarine and fish oils(Omega fat) are made up of mostly polyunsaturated oil. Examples ofmonounsaturated fats are canola oil, olive oil and flaxseed.Be weary of confectionaries like chocolate and candies, cakes, pastries, buttercookies and ice cream because these foods contain high amounts of “hidden fat”.Remember that though there are better fats to choose from, eat all fats inmoderation.