SFDA: Fat is a source of energy and its abundance is linked to chronic diseases

Riyadh – Although fat is a rich source of energy, and one of the main nutrients the body uses for growth and vital functions, its frequent consumption is associated with high rates of chronic diseases, which represent about 73% of all deaths in Saudi Arabia. The Arabian Peninsula according to the statistics of the World Health Organization for the year 2018.

The Food and Drug Authority issued a guide for fats explaining what these fats are, their benefits to the human body, their sources and types, the difference between saturated, unsaturated and trans fats, and the recommended amount for each.

The Food and Drug Authority indicated that saturated fats are mainly found in foods of animal origin, such as dairy and dairy products, red meat, chicken skin and butter. Animal-source foods are also found in some plant sources such as palm oil and coconut oil, and frequent consumption of this type of fat is associated with a higher level of cholesterol in the body and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

And the Food and Drug Authority recommended, through the guide, to choose low-fat cuts of meat, such as white meat, fat-free red meat, and low-fat dairy products. It also recommended that an individual consume no more than 10% of the total daily calories (average of 2,000 calories per day), a man should consume no more than 30 grams, and a woman should consume no more than 20 grams of saturated fat. Daily.

The Food and Drug Authority indicated that unsaturated fats are sources of beneficial fats that help lower the level of cholesterol in the blood, as they work to lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and raise the rate of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Thus, it reduces the incidence of heart disease.

The consumption of this type of fat should be balanced and not excessive, since in general, obesity is associated with increased fat consumption. Unsaturated fats are mainly found in vegetable and fish sources such as olive oil, pumpkin seeds, nuts, canola, salmon and sardines.

The Food and Drug Authority indicated that partially hydrogenated oils are formed through the process of partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils, as this process includes adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oil, thus converting it from a liquid to a solid, and it produces partially hydrogenated oil (PHO), which is the basis. There are hydrogenated oils in food products, and studies have proven that this type of fat is linked to many health problems.

Therefore, many countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by the Food and Drug Authority, have taken nutritional policies to prevent the use of these oils in food industries.

The Food and Drug Authority has started limiting trans fats since 2015, after the issuance of the Saudi technical regulation “SFDA. FD 2483”, which stipulates certain limits for trans fats in oils, fats and other food products.

After that, the Food and Drug Authority conducted a survey on food products in the local markets and analyzed their content of trans fats, and through control campaigns, it was found that the percentage of food products conforming to the Saudi technical regulation amounted to about 95%. .

In 2020, the Food and Drug Authority banned the use of PHO, which is the main source of trans fats in food industries, and it is one of the most important nutritional strategies through which the Authority seeks to promote public health and protect society.

As a result, the World Health Organization praised the Food and Drug Authority for being the first country at the regional level and the fourteenth at the global level to implement such a decision. – Spa


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