LESSON 4: Learning about Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats
Part 3: Fats - their functions and good food sources
Part 3: Fats - their functions and good food sources
Fats provide energy and carry out a variety of important functions in the body. Dietary fats supply essential fatty acids and are needed for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K (called “fat soluble” vitamins). They contain the highest level of energy (9 calories per gram) of any nutrient and are essential for growth and health. Fat is also a necessary component of body tissue. The brain and central nervous system are rich in fat and fat must be sufficient in the diet in times when these tissues are developing, as in during pregnancy and the first several years of life. The body uses fat to manufacture needed chemicals such as hormones. Fats protect the cells and internal organs and allow us to store calories to protect us from times when food is not available. Fats stays in the stomach longer than other foods, making us feel full. Fats are also important for keeping the body warm and they make food taste better.
To think about
Do you think fats are important in the diet?
What do you know about the different kinds of fats?
Do you know what foods have high amounts of fats?
A healthy, well-balanced diet includes adequate fat intake. For people with inadequate total energy intake, dietary fats are especially important for increasing energy intake to more adequate levels. For everyone, adequate fat is an important part of a healthy diet that meets individual energy and nutrient needs and takes into account appropriate levels of physical activity. Fat needs are usually expressed as a percent of total energy needs, which depend on age and levels of physical activity...
Download Part 3 (1.8Mb)
Fats in my diet
Go to the Ask yourself Work sheet “Fats in my diet” (217kb) and fill in what you know about the different types of fats and the fats in your foods and diet. Check the Answer Work sheet (393kb) to see if your answers are correct.
Tip: Look for more information on fats in the Fact sheet “Basic macronutrient facts: fats” (218kb).
What foods are good sources of fats?
Go through the list of foods in the Work sheet “What foods are high sources of fats?” (301kb) and underline or circle all those rich in fats. Use the Fact sheet “Basic macronutrient facts: fats” (218kb) for more information on fats.
Look at the Fact sheet “Basic macronutrient facts: fats” (218kb) and make a list of all the fats and foods high in fats available in the diet and local markets. Collect as many pictures of these foods as possible. You can draw foods, take photos of them or cut out the illustrations from food labels, packages, newspapers or magazines.
Once you’ve collected the images, work all together or in two groups and create a poster or a collage called “Main Sources of Fats”. Divide your poster in two parts: Unsaturated fats; Saturated fats
If food labels are available with nutrient amounts listed, analyse the types and amounts of different fats listed on the label and rank foods with greater or lesser amounts.
Display the poster in your school next to the ones on carbohydrates and proteins created previously.
Fill in the gaps
If you are working individually, use the Work sheet “Fill in the gaps” (238kb) as a test and see if you can correctly fill in the blanks.
If you are working in a group, copy the sentences and the words in the box on separate strips of paper or cards. Mix up the cards and, one at a time, come up and take one or more random cards until all of them are distributed.
Walk around the room and try to match your cards. When you have filled in the blanks in the sentences with the correct words, form a pair and read aloud your statements to the rest of the group. Check the answer key to see if they are correct.
Macronutrients matching game
If you are working individually, go to the Match it Worksheet “Macronutrients facts matching” (229kb) and see if you can match the facts with the correct macronutrient.
If you are working in a group, make three columns on a large sheet of paper or on the classroom board and write in the following three headings:
Then on separate strips of paper or cards write each of the facts listed on the Worksheet. Mix up the facts and distribute the fact strips until all facts are distributed.
Read out the fact strips one by one and place them under the macronutrients where you think they belong. Discuss and check the answer key to see if the placement is correct.
- Fact sheet “Basic macronutrient facts: fats” (218kb)
- Ask yourself Work sheet “Fats in my diet” (217kb)
- Answer Work sheet “Fats in my diet” (393kb)
- Work sheet “What foods are high sources of fats?” (301kb)
- Work sheet “Fill in the gaps” (238kb)
- Match it Worksheet “Macronutrients facts matching” (229kb)
Download Part 3 Materials (1.5Mb)
Review these five key points to remember about fats, their functions in the body and good food sources. See if you feel that your knowledge has improved and how you can apply it to your own diet and that of your family.
- Fats carry out many important functions in the body: they help absorb some vitamins, produce hormones, build body tissues, the brain and the nervous system.
- Adequate fat is an important art of a healthy diet that meets individual energy and nutrient needs and takes into account appropriate levels of physical activity.
- Most of the fat in the diet should come from unsaturated fats, especially from seeds, nuts and fatty fish that provide omega-3 fatty acids.
- Small amounts should come from saturated fatty acids (less than 10% of calories in the diet for adults and 8% for children).
- Trans fats and foods containing trans fats (partially hydrogenated oil) should be avoided or consumed as little as possible (less than 1% of calories).