2.4.1  Classification of fats

Fats are classified into saturated and unsaturated fats. The classification is important to enable you to advise your community about which fats can be consumed with less risk to people’s health. Saturated fats are not good for a person’s health.

Saturated fats are usually solid at cool temperatures. Eating too much saturated fat is not good for a person’s health, as it can cause heart and blood vessel problems.

Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature. These types of fats are healthy fats. Examples include fats from fish, oil seeds (sesame and sunflower), maize oil and ground nut oil and breastmilk.

As a general rule, plant sources of fats are better for a person’s health than the animal sources, because animal fats contain more saturated fats.

  • Look at the list of foods you wrote in Section 2.1.2. Which of these foods are sources of fats? Which of these fats are not healthy fats?

  • Cooking oils, butter, meat, chicken, fish, ground nut oils and breastmilk are among the sources of fats. Butter, meat fats and oils from animal sources are not good fats, because they have a high amount of saturated fats.

2.4  Fats and oils