Dietary fats and oils are essential for your body. You should learn how to cook with them because they are important for good health and brain function. Good fats help all kinds of body systems work better. They are essential for brain function. Kids, are you still wondering what's the big deal about dietary fats and oils? Well, if you have food allergies it's a super BIG deal for you. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. You've got to eat plenty of it, especially if you've got food allergies or celiac disease. If you don't eat enough healthy fat, you'll run into all kinds of health problems. I bet you didn't know that.
I'll try to explain to you what it is and which kinds are better for you to eat than others, and how a good chef uses them in the kitchen. Of course, our club avoids the top 10 allergens, so we will only highlight fats that are also safe for folks with common allergens, too. (You won't find info about corn oil, peanut oil, or soy oil here!)
If you are like my little brother Dessie, who I wrote about in my story, Cilie Yack is Under Attack, then you probably spend a lot of time picking the fat off of your meat and setting it on the side of your plate. But did you know that your body actually needs to eat fats? Did you also know that fat helps your brain, protects your body's organs, and is needed to build healthy cells? Fat is important for helping you to feel full after you eat, too. It helps your body soak up all the good vitamins in your foods. Fat is also used when your body runs low on energy. There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
Psst! Oil floats on water because it has less DENSITY than water. (This means that the matter inside water is crammed together more tightly than the matter inside the oil!)
So what happens when your body doesn't get enough fat? Well, when good fats are missing for a long period of time you will start to get off balance. Your body will start to slow down. You will be tired more, worry more, get skin problems, and may even start to feel unhappy a lot. When it gets to be a real serious problem you will have what is called a 'deficiency' and this will eventually make you feel sick and run down.
Doctors suggest at least 25% to 35% of a 5-12 year old kid's diet should come from healthy fats. That could be anywhere from 40 to 85 grams of fat. Only 10% of the fat in your diet should be saturated fat, so don't think you can just eat bad junk to get it.
Getting the right amount of fat means that kids have their work cut out for them. Did you know that there's only about 15 grams of fat in a tablespoon of vegetable oil? This means you need at least 4 or 5 tablespoons of good fats each day. Spoon it on, everyone!