Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Are fats always bad for the body?


The real truth about fats


healthy fats

The common belief is that fat increases body weight and harmful to health; this is true but not 100 percent.

A truth that may seem surprising to some that there are healthy fats that are very useful in the metabolism and fat burning process; besides its importance for brain and heart health, hormonal balance, and even weight loss.

So there are bad fats and healthy fats or (good fats).

What are fats?

Fat is an essential nutrient, just like protein and carbohydrates.

Our body needs some fat for energy, to absorb vitamins, and to protect our heart and brain health.

And fat is the storage form of energy in the body.

Why does the body need fat in the first place?

Megan Fahey, nutritionist says:

-Fats are necessary to feel full.

- Fats are the macronutrients that stimulate the brain to perceive the feeling of fullness while eating.

- Necessary for the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

- The body can absorb the four vitamins (A, D, E, and K) only in the presence of fat; In addition, many antioxidants such as lycopene are better absorbed in the presence of fat.

- Maintains brain function and the ability of neurons to fire signals.

- The brain is basically a block of fat and cholesterol, so dietary fat is important to provide the brain with the essential elements it needs to function.

- Fat also coats, insulates, and protects nerves, to be able to send signals between the brain and the body.

- Fat and cholesterol stimulate sexual activity (Saturated fats and cholesterol are essential in the synthesis of sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and also help maintain overall hormonal balance).

What is the relationship between fats and cholesterol?

Fat plays a major role in cholesterol levels in the body; and depending on the type of fat you consume there are good and bad types of cholesterol.

1-LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the “bad” kind.

2-HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the “good” kind.

The bottom line is to keep LDL levels low and HDL high, which may protect against heart disease and stroke.

so we have to reduce bad fats and focus on good fats.


What are the BAD fat and GOOD fat?

Most of the foods we eat contain saturated and unsaturated fats; What matters is the percentage in it, which ultimately makes it healthy or unhealthy.

If we divide fats in terms of benefit to the body, they are divided into two parts:

1-Bad fats :

There are two types: Saturated fat and Trans fat.

A- Saturated fat:

It is a fat saturated with hydrogen atoms and is solid at room temperature.

A high intake of saturated fat over a long period may increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and this because of raising the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body.

Eat no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day depending The American Heart Association (AHA).

We find it:

* Red meat (beef, lamb, pork).

* Chicken skin.

* Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese).

* Butter.

* Ice cream.

* Lard.

* Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil.

B- Trans fat:

It’s artificial trans fats, and the most dangerous fats to human health and should be avoided completely, and it is found in foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried foods, and some types of baked goods, pastries, and fast foods.

This kind of fats helps to increase the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, in addition to increasing the chance of inflammations in the body, which poses a risk for diseases such as heart, diabetes, and stroke.

We find it:

- cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough, - Commercially baked pastries.

- Packaged snack foods as, microwave popcorn, crackers, chips...

- margarine, vegetable shortening.

- fried foods and hydrogenated vegetable oil.


2-Good fats:

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats; they are healthy and useful fats that nutrition experts advise eating because of their importance and the benefits that the body derives as a result of obtaining this type of fat, which is mainly represented in reducing harmful cholesterol in the body and raising the proportion of good cholesterol, and they are usually liquid at room temperature because unsaturated fats contain one or more double bonds in their chemical structure.

Therefore, unsaturated fats can be classified based on their chemical structure into two types:

A-Monounsaturated fat:

They contain in their chemical composition one double bond, and are usually liquid at room temperature.

We find it:

- Avocados.

- Nuts (pecans, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, almonds…).

- Olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils.

- Peanuts butter.

B- Polyunsaturated fat :

They have two or more double bonds in its chemical structure, and is also liquid at room temperature.

We find it:

-Fatty fish (tuna, trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines) and fish oil.

- pumpkin seeds, Sunflower, sesame.

- Flaxseed.

- Walnuts.

- Soybean and safflower oil.

- Soymilk.

- Tofu.

- eggs( Eggs are back on the list of healthy foods after they were excluded).

Also Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat and it plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy heart; and they help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.

The bottom line :

Fats are an important part of your daily balanced diet, but you should focus on healthy fats and avoid unhealthy fats as much as possible to get the most benefit and avoid the risks of diseases resulting from eating saturated fats.

Sources: webmd.com/ health.harvard.edu/ self.com/ medicalnewstoday.com/ healthline.com/ ods.od.nih.gov/ helpguide.org.




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