The Lowdown on Fat and Cholesterol

In This Chapter

^ Assessing the value of fat ^ Discovering the different kinds of fat in food ^ Explaining why you need some cholesterol ^ Balancing the fat (and cholesterol) in your diet rhe chemical family name for fats and related compounds such as cholesterol is lipids (from lipos, the Greek word for fat). Liquid fats are called oils; solid fats are called, well, fat. With the exception of cholesterol (a fatty substance that has no calories and provides no energy), fats are high-energy nutrients. Gram for gram, fats have more than twice as much energy potential (calories) as protein and carbohydrates (affectionately referred to as carbs): 9 calories per fat gram versus 4 calories per gram for proteins and carbs. (For more calorie facts, see Chapter 3.)

In this chapter, I cut the fat away from the subject of fats and zero in on the essential facts you need to put together a diet with just enough fat (yes, you do need fat) to provide the bounce that every diet requires. And then I deal with that ultimate baddie — cholesterol. Surprise! You need some of that, too. Onward.

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