Whenever we hear the word fat, most of the time body fat comes into our mind but the word fat is not limited to that only. So in this article, now we will know all the important things about fats. So without taking much time let’s move towards the article.
What is fat
Fat, along with protein and carbohydrates, is one of the three macronutrients that are essential for human survival. It is a type of biomolecule consisting of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and is used by the body for energy storage and insulation.
Fats are divided into categories mentioned below:
- Saturated fats.
- Trans Fats
- Monounsaturated fats.
- Polyunsaturated fats.
Saturated fats are a type of fat that is usually solid at room temperature. They are typically found in animal products like meat, butter, cheese and cream, and some vegetable oils like coconut oil and palm oil. They have long been considered less healthy than other types of fat because they have been linked to high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease.
A diet high in saturated fats can cause the liver to produce more cholesterol, which can build up in the blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Saturated fats can also increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol. It is recommended to limit saturated fat intake and aim to get less than 10% of daily calories from saturated fat.
However, not all saturated fats have the same effects. Certain saturated fats, such as those found in dairy products or coconut oil, have fewer negative effects on heart health.
Trans fats are found in many processed foods, including fried foods, baked goods, and snack foods. They are also commonly used in fast food and packaged foods as they are cheaper than butter or lard and can extend the shelf life of food.
Consuming trans fats can raise LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is known as “bad” cholesterol and lower HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is known as “good” cholesterol. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Due to the potential negative health effects of trans fats, many countries have begun to take steps to reduce or eliminate the use of hydrogenated oils in food products. For example, many companies in the US have reduced the amount of trans fats in their products, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required that the trans fat content of foods be listed on nutrition labels.
Monounsaturated fats are a type of unsaturated fat that is typically liquid at room temperature. They are considered to be a healthier type of fat than saturated fats, which have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Some studies have shown that monounsaturated fats may help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. They may also help to improve blood sugar control, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
Monounsaturated fats can be used as a replacement for saturated fats in cooking and baking, but it is still important to consume them in moderation, as they are calorie-dense and consuming too much can lead to weight gain. Also, it is worth noting that although monounsaturated fats are considered to be healthy, they can still have negative effects if they are consumed in excessive amounts.
There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats:
Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids, both of which are essential for human health and must be obtained through diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish and some plant-based oils and they have been shown to help lower inflammation in the body, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve brain function.
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in most vegetable oils and have been linked to decreasing inflammation and improving heart health as well.
It’s recommended to consume a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, as a high intake of omega-6 without the balance of omega-3 can lead to pro-inflammatory effects.
Like other fats, consuming too much polyunsaturated fats can cause weight gain, therefore it is important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.