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  • Writer's pictureSomnath banerjee

Understanding Fats

Updated: Jul 29, 2020


Fats present in food always get a bad reputation, and everyone afraid of having fats. People think that having fats make them fat. Their are different types of fats, good as well as bad fats in different foods. Having bad fats leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.


As like bad fats, their are healthy fats as well which have many health benefits which will be discussed in our another blog.


Many research have been started on dietary fats, this dietary are found in both plants and animals. Some research said that, some of this fatty acids increase the heart problems, but some have many health benefits and improves heart health.


We always don't care about having fats, and scared of having foods which contains fats, but proper amount of fats are required in our body as like carbohydrates and protien. Fats are very much important for functioning of our body and helps in balancing the hormones and also help to dissolve some vitamins and minerals into blood stream as well.


We need to understand that 1grams of fats have 9 calories and 1gram of protein/carbs have 4calories. So having excess amount of fats increase the calories intake and leads to weight gain, but some who are looking for a calories surplus diet, then adding healthy fats is the right choice to increase the amount of calories intake.

Foods and oils contain a mixture of fatty acids, but the predominant type of fat they contain is what makes them “good” or “bad.”


Now let's distribute the types of fats and how fats are good and bad.


Bad Fats

Bad Fats are distributed in two main forms, they are

  • Saturated Fatty acids

  • Trans Fatty acids


This fats are harmful for overall health of a body and increase bad cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Saturated fats can be taking in daily diet, but in a small amount but we must avoid trans fats from our diet.


Saturated Fatty Acids


Saturated fats are mostly found in animal's products like in chicken, eggs, milk, etc. All animals products have this fatty acids.


More foods which contains saturated fatty acids are:

  • Fatty beef, pork, and lamb.

  • Chicken meat and poultry skin.

  • High-fat dairy foods (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream).

  • Oils (coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter).


It was found that having a lot of this fats can leads to increase the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). But having this fats have health benefits as so this fats always come with lot's of controversys. Eggs have saturated fats but helps maintaining good cholesterol levels as well.

It was said that having this fats in moderation will help in long term


According to Harvard University, researchers now think saturated fat may not be as bad as once thought — but it still isn’t the best choice for fats.


A 2015 review of 15 group of people to understand rhe relationship between saturated fats and heart disease. In this research it was found that replacing the saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids increase the heart health.


A 2017 article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that the risks of LDL cholesterol had previously been overstated, particularly when it comes to a negative effect on heart health.


The article recommends comparing your total cholesterol level to your HDL cholesterol level instead. Doctors associate a higher ratio with increased insulin resistance and heart problems.


Trans Fatty Acids


This are the fats which you must need to avoid from foods, this trans fatty acids are very much harmful for human health. This trans fats are harmful then saturated fats and are found in many hydrogenated oils. Trans fats are also found in foods like:

  • fried foods (French fries, doughnuts, deep-fried fast foods)

  • margarine (stick and tub)

  • vegetable shortening

  • baked goods (cookies, cakes, pastries)

  • processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn)


Trans fats significantly increases the amount of LDL as like saturated fats, but the main problem with Trans fat is that, it suppress the good cholesterol (HDL) from the body to produce.

A gram of trans fats can also leads to various health problems and leads to cardiovascular problems as well.


Trans fatty acids leads to inflammation in human body and leads to obesity, chronic health condition and leads to heart problems as well.

Many foods companies labels the foods with zero, or no trans fats. Always remember to read the ingredients list, if that have hydrogenated oils present in that food then, their is trans fats as well, avoid those types of foods.


Good Fats


It was always recommend to good fats, this fats help in increase the Good Cholesterol and improve hormonal imbalance in human body. This fats are also beneficial of heart health and keep health in check. This fats are

  • Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids

  • Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids


Oils which contains good fats always stays in liquid form even in room temperature.


Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids

This types of fatty acids are present in a variety of foods and oils. Research has consistently shown that eating foods that contain monounsaturated fat can improve your blood cholesterol level and decrease the risk of heart disease or any cardiovascular problems. Such types of foods are:

  • nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans)

  • vegetable oils (olive oil, peanut oil)

  • peanut butter and almond butter

  • avocado


Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids


Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important fats for human growth because our body cannot make this types of fatty acids by it's own and have to consume by having foods.


Plant-based foods and oils are the primary source of this fat. Like monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat can decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol Levels and improve overall health.


Polyunsaturated fats are also said to be Omega-3 fatty acids and have been a lot beneficial for Good cholesterol leves and improve heart health. This fatty acids also improve testosterone levels, fight inflammation in body.


Omega-3s appear to not only decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, but also help lower blood pressure levels and guard against irregular heartbeats.


This fatty acids also take care of hair and skin as well.

The following types of fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids:

  • salmon

  • herring

  • sardines

  • trout


Polyunsaturated fatty acids or Omega 3s are also found in plants like, in flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil, although these contain a less active form of the fat than fish do.


Someome plants based foods which contains polyunsaturated fatty acids or omega 3s are:

  • tofu

  • roasted soy beans and soy nut butter

  • walnuts

  • seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)

  • vegetable oils (corn oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil)

Conclusion:

Fats are not your enemy, you must add fats in your daily diet because some fats do have many health benefits. Avoid trans fats from your diet and add little saturated fats and add healthy fats in moderation as your calorie intake. Always remember fats boost calories intake because it have 9calories per gram. Enjoy your nuts and eggs every day and avoid packed foods or fried foods and cakes.

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