Fat is a component in most foods. Fruits and vegetables are amongst the few foods that don’t include any fats. Nuts, Oils, Butter, Milk and Meats like beef have plenty of fat. Fat sounds like something you shouldn’t eat but it definitely is an important part of a healthy diet. A little fat in your diet allows your brain and nervous system to develop correctly. This is why babies need to drink a lot of whole milk while they are young.
There are two main types of fats that we learned about during workshop: Saturated and Unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are considered unhealthy fats. They raise the level of cholesterol in your blood (fat in your blood stream). All of these changes increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Foods that are high in saturated fat include dairy products like butter, milk, cheese, cream and a lot of processed foods such as pies, pastries, doughnuts, cakes, etc. Animal fats, such as the fat on meat and skin from poultry are also high in saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are better for your body, and are necessary for good health. They help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering the bad cholesterol in your blood. The foods that contain unsaturated fats are: sunflower, olive, peanut, sesame oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, oily fish such as salmon, and some vegetable oils and margarine spreads.
During workshop we did two activities. We first brought three different types of milk including: whole milk, skim milk and whipped cream. We put each of these milks in three different parts of a plate, and in each milk sample we put a few drops of food coloring. In the whipped cream, the food coloring didn’t move. In the whole milk, the food coloring moved a little. In the skim milk, the food coloring moved a lot! The movement of the food coloring in the skim milk shows how little fat is in the skim milk, because if there was a lot of fat, such as in the whipped cream, the food coloring wouldn’t move because all of the fat particles would keep it in place. The kids really enjoyed this activity and really understood what it meant to have a food containing a lot of fat!
The second activity the kids did was putting in order ten different foods in order, from the most amount of calcium to the least amount of calcium. Calcium is important because it allows your bones to grow and become strong and fight bone loss later in life. You can get calcium from dairy products, vegetables, soy foods, calcium-fortified foods, beans and canned fish! The kids didn’t have the easiest time putting these in order, but once they got the correct order they understood why it was that way! Overall the day was a success!