The Good and the Bad of Fats   



The Good and the Bad of Fats

 
In today's world, fats are considered as the most evil part in our diets and are the most looked down upon. If we cut down on the fats and the fatty foods from our diet are we or are we not compromising on our health? Read on to get your facts straight.

How good are the fats?
Fats are essential part of our body, accounting for one fifth to one sixth of our body weight. Fats are required for hormone production; they facilitate oxygen transport and also nourish the skin and mucous membranes. The cells and tissues of our body have fat as an integral part. The vital organs like heart, brain and liver, are protected by a sheath of fat and water that holds them in place and prevents injury. The nerves are also protected by fat. A layer of fat beneath the skin helps to conserve body heat and regulate body temperature, thus acting as insulation against cold. The fat around the joints acts as a lubricant and allows us to move these smoothly. Without fat in our bodies, we would die instantly. Our cell membranes and nervous system would collapse.

Fats increase the flavour, palatability, and satiety value of foods. The slower rate of digestion of fat as compared to carbohydrates results in a feeling of satisfaction. Besides providing energy, oils and fats have several functions in the body. Food fats also aid the transport and absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.

Understanding Dietary Fat
The fat in your diet is made up of four different types: saturated fatty acids (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and Omega 3 fats (a special type of polyunsaturated fat). You need the proper amount of each family of fat because each affects your health and risk of disease in different ways. You will reach a healthy balance if you can get approximately one-third of your fat calories from saturated fats, one-third from monounsaturated fats, and one-third from polyunsaturated and Omega 3 fats. Sticking to a diet of 20 to 25 percent total intake, properly balanced between the different types of fat, is very practical and easy to do on a long-term basis.

Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs) are mainly animal fats. They are found in meat, seafood, whole-milk dairy products (cheese, milk, and ice cream), poultry skin, and egg yolks. Some plant foods are also high in saturated fats, including coconut and coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. While saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol does, they tend to raise both the "good" HDL and the "bad" [DL cholesterol. While a minimum amount of fat in the diet is essential, excess is harmful. Too much of it can lead to ill health. A section of Indians have a high intake of fat, a large part of it is saturated fats (milk, sweets, eggs and other flesh foods), and a very sedentary lifestyle. Their energy intake in excess of needs leads to obesity and an unacceptable blood lipid profile. If unchecked, there is deposition of fatty material with formation of plaques in the arteries, which disturbs the movement of oxygen and nutrients. It leads to variety of heart ailments, such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and others.

Omega 3 fats also make your blood less likely to form clots on the inside of your blood-vessel walls. Smoking cigarettes and eating a diet high in saturated and polyunsaturated fats are factors that increase the likelihood of abnormal blood clotting and thus create sites for blockages to occur. Because of these benefits of Omega 3 fats, eating fatty fish is encouraged. Keep in mind that flaxseed oil also contains omega-3 fats in substantial quantities - if you don't like fish, then consider ingesting 1,000 - 2,000 mg of flaxseed oil per day as a supplement.

Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (which are artificially saturated fats) are now considered totally evil, both because of the saturation and a side effect of hydrogenation called trans fatly acids. Trans fatty acids are also dangerous for the heart as they may pose risk for certain cancers. Some experts believe that these fats are worst than SFA because they do both, increase the LDL and decrease the HDL. They are used in commercially baked goods, cakes, pastries, cookies, DaIda ghee, stick margarine etc.

Cholesterol is an important part of each cell and every type of human cell makes cholesterol. Each day our liver makes about 800 mg of cholesterol, which circulates through the blood stream and is used wherever it is needed. It is a precursor of Vitamin D, hormones and bile acids. Bile acids needed for fat digestion, are formed from cholesterol. The cholesterol content of heart, liver, kidney and egg (embryonic stage of life) is quite high. Foods high in cholesterol are dairy products, egg yolk, poultry, Caviar, Squid, and meat. In infancy and toddlers stage, new tissues are formed, especially brain which need cholesterol. Hence fat should not be restricted in the diet of children up to five years of age; in fact it should be plenty.

Omega 3 fats seem to lower blood cholesterol levels significantly when they are substituted fats. Several studies have shown that when people with high levels of cholesterol in their blood eat more fatty fish, their cholesterol levels are reduced, especially if they concurrently lower their saturated fat intake.

How much fat is enough and how to balance your fats?
Although the different types of fat have a varied-and admittedly confusing-effect on health and disease, the basic message is simple: limit the bad fats and replace them with good fats. Try to reduce both the trans and saturated fats in your diet as much as possible and replace them with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Ideally, you can get as much as 20 to 25 percent of your total calories from fat without promoting cardiovascular disease, cancer or obesity. However, if you have a high risk of cardiovascular disease, you would be wise to restrict your fat intake to 20 percent of your calories or less coming from fats. Just as a diet too heavy on carbohydrates can be deleterious to the health, so can one too high in proteins or too high in fats. Balance us the right key.
Top


Happy reading,
Evelyn


To subscribe this newsletter, please enter your

 name and email below:

Name: Email:



Copyright © 2011-2018 topwellnesshealth.com. All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy