Fats, Oils and Sweets

Fats, oils and sweets give us calories. Fats and oils like salad dressings, mayonnaise, butter, margarine and lard tend to be high in calories because of the fat they contain. Sweets like candy, soft drinks, syrups, jams, and jellies are made mostly of sugars. Most of these foods do not contain many vitamins or minerals. So they are called "empty calorie" foods.

Fats, oils and sweets are not bad foods. When we eat them along with foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and meat products they are part of a healthy diet. Eating too many fats, oils or sweets can be a problem when we eat them instead of foods and nutrients we get in the other food groups.

Fats, oils and sweets add flavor and variety to our diets. We don't have to give them up. We can use less of them to help us stay fit and healthy. We can spread a smaller amount of butter, margarine or jelly on toast or muffins. We can use less fat and oil in cooking. When we cook we can cut down of some of the fats and sugars by reducing the amounts of these ingredients in the recipes we make.

To find out more about fat and sweets, read the files: Fat and Sugars.

If you have questions about the types of foods in this group, go to "Ask the Nutritionist."

To test what you learned, take the Quiz on Fats, Oils and Sweets.

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