What Are Some Common Illnesses Caused By Having Too Much Fat In Our Diet?

Published: 19th February 2007
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Too much fat in our diet can cause obesity, which is a risk factor of many serious diseases. However, dietary fats are a source of energy for our body and they help produce compounds that regulate a variety of bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and blood clotting. Although our body needs a certain amount of fat to function well, too much fat can cause healthy problems. The recommended diet for us to adopt is a low-fat diet in which our body is being supplied the amount of fat it requires and our risk of health problems is not increased. The following are some common illnesses which are caused by having too much fat in our diet.

* Heart Disease

Obesity is associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol which can increase the risk of heart disease. Heart failure is found to be more common in overweight people.

* Diabetes (Type II) (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes)
Being overweight will increase your risk for diabetes (type II). Obesity is one of the causes of increased resistance to the hormone insulin. This insulin resistance is responsible for diabetes (type II).

* Osteoarthritis and Gout
Obesity can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the hips and hands. Similarly, it can also increase the occurrence of gout. Both these diseases cause pain and discomfort to the joints and can inhibit movement.

* Cancer

Obesity can increase the risk of developing certain cancers such as breast, endometrial, colon and kidney cancers.

* Gall Bladder Disease
Too much fat in the body may cause elevated cholesterol levels. The increased secretion of cholesterol from the liver to the gall bladder may cause gall bladder disease. Cholesterol is known to be a major component of most gallstones. Thus, people with high cholesterol have an increased risk of gall bladder disease.

* Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease occurs more commonly in obese people. This is a disease whereby fat deposits damage the liver tissue. As this disease has only a few symptoms, the liver may have already been severely damaged by the time the disease is discovered. This disease is also found in people with diabetes and high cholesterol.

* Sleep Apnoea
Obesity is known to be a common cause of sleep apnoea. In this condition, breathing starts and stops during sleep. It causes a person to wake up frequently during the night. Without a good night's rest, the person may suffer fatigue and sleepiness during the day.

* Mental Problems
According to reports, extremely obese people are more prone to suffer from depression. Overweight people tend to suffer from social isolation and loneliness which can in turn lead to psychological disorders such as depression.

Fats can be saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats are harmful as they can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and cause coronary artery disease. Sources of saturated fats include butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, egg yolks and fatty portions of beef, pork and lamb. Some vegetable fats are also saturated and these include palm, palm kennel and coconut. Unsaturated fats can be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats do not raise LDL cholesterol levels. Foods with monounsaturated fats include canola, peanut and olive oils, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, sesame, soy cottonseed oils.

Our body needs a certain amount of fat for its functions. However, we should not consume more than the amount our body requires. If we take too much fat in our diet, we may suffer from obesity, which is related to many serious illnesses. It is critical that we adopt a low-fat diet in order to avoid obesity and thus, reduce our risk of many serious illnesses. It is beneficial for us to know the kind of fats that are harmful to our body and the foods in which they are found. Thus, we can reduce our intake of these foods and maintain a healthy weight. For more information, please visit Homecare and elderly.


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