BACKGROUND: A chemist has created a protein solution that can be used to coat chicken. When the chicken is then deep-fried, it contains 50 percent less fat than if it had been deep-fried without the coating.
HOW IT WORKS: Chicken is bathed in a liquid of water and protein molecules that have been taken from a slurry of chicken or fish tissue. This forms a thin shield around the meat, and when it is then submerged in oil, the coating keeps fat from being absorbed from the fryer.
GOOD FATS VS. BAD FATS: Fats should account for no more than 30 percent of the total calories we consume, but good health also depends on whether those are "good" fats or "bad" fats. Mono-unsaturated fats, like olive oil and canola oil, are considered good because they can help lower cholesterol. Saturated (animal) fats are thought of as bad because they clog the arteries. A third type of fat is made when corn oil or other fats that are usually liquid at room temperature are solidified through heating. This type of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, called trans fatty acid, is a main ingredient in vegetable shortening and margarine. It is the worst kind of fat. In the body, the enzymes responsible for processing fats have trouble breaking down trans fatty acids and spend so much time trying to do so that it interferes with the processing of essential fatty acids.
WHAT ARE EFAs? There are two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs): Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like fish, flax and pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil, for example. EFAs have been shown to protect against heart disease, but the body can't make them, so we must consume them in food. Ideally, these should be balanced in the diet at a ratio of 2-to-1; in most Western diets, that ratio is 20-to-1.
WHERE THE BODY STORES FAT: Men and women store fat differently because they have difference sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Adult men store fat in the chest, abdomen, and buttocks, producing an apple shape. Adult women carry fat in the breasts, hips, waist and buttocks, creating a pear shape.