It is important to have clearly in mind what is meant by fats, when discussing the part they play in our diet. To many people the word fat calls to mind butter, lard, margarine and the obviously fatty parts of meats and bacon. It is fat that can be seen. It is appropriate, therefore, to apply to it the convenient term “visible fat”, in contradistinction to other fats contained in food, not so generally recognised as fats, which are designated “invisible”. The latter are by no means unimportant. As we shall see, they provide something of the order of one‐half of our total daily intake. A few examples will illustrate the contributions foods usually regarded as not fatty can make to the total. Lean meat contains 6–8 per cent of fat; cheese, from 4–30 per cent, depending on the quality of the milk from which it was made; dried eggs, 42 per cent; rabbit, 5 per cent; herrings, 10 per cent; flour, 1–2 per cent; bread, 1 per cent; oatmeal, 8 per cent. Analysis of diets eaten in this country before the war shows that more than half the total fat consumed was in the form of foods providing “invisible” fat. That, of course, was in the days when a sausage contained 30 per cent of fat and a good cake as much as 15 per cent. Before passing to consider the significance of fats in our daily diet we should briefly review the more important facts concerning their behaviour in the body and what is known of their function.
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