Due to the abundance of information about the dangers of fats, many are trying to completely eliminate it from their diet. And thus they harm both health and figure. It is important to understand that fat is different from fat, and in fact, correct, good fats, consumed in reasonable amounts, will only benefit the body.
Types of fats
According to their origin, fats are divided into animal and vegetable. From the point of view of biochemistry, fats are classified as acids and are divided into saturated and unsaturated.
Saturated fatty acids have a solid crystalline structure and therefore the fats they contain are solid. The main products, which include saturated fats – lard, butter, eggs, meat.
Unsaturated fats are liquid, fluid, since there are not enough hydrogen atoms in the chemical formula of unsaturated acids. Almost all liquid vegetable oils are a prime example of unsaturated fats.
Liquid oils are difficult to use in baking. In addition, they quickly deteriorate – oxidize due to the presence of “free places” in the structure that are not occupied by hydrogen. To rid unsaturated fats of these shortcomings, chemists set out to make the product solid and with an extended shelf life.
Specialists attached hydrogen atoms to fat molecules (hydrogenation process) and obtained solid unsaturated fats with a long shelf life – well-known hydrogenated margarines and oils.
But during hydrogenation, hydrogen atoms did not attach to fats in the same quantity, and not in the same way as in saturated fats. Therefore, the artificially obtained new structure was called transform, and the product was called trans fats.
These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, while monounsaturated fats contain omega 9 fatty acids. These are the healthiest fats that you should definitely include in your diet. The body absorbs them much easier than saturated ones, and they have much more functions.
Omega-3 reduces the level of bad cholesterol and the risk of developing chronic diseases, improves the elasticity of blood vessels.
Omega-6 regulates blood sugar levels, increases good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
Omega-9 reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and the amount of bad cholesterol.
The human body is able to synthesize omega-9 fatty acids, but omega-3 and omega-6 cannot. We can only get them from food, which is why omega-3s and omega-6s are called essential.
But the beneficial properties of fatty acids are fully revealed only if the correct ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is observed. According to various sources, the proportions should be from 1:2 to 1:10. Overwhelmingly, in the diet of a modern person there is a clear overabundance of omega-6, about 10 times more than required.
Due to a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids begin to exhibit properties that are the opposite of positive ones. Therefore, the balance of fatty acids entering the body is so important.
It is especially important to include foods containing saturated fats in your diet for those who are actively involved in sports, fitness or working in physical work. Avoiding saturated fatty acids can be detrimental to the body, especially if they are replaced with refined carbohydrates.
Products-record holders for the content of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids
|Saturated fats||Monounsaturated fats||Polyunsaturated fats|
|Butter||Almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios||Fatty fish (omega 3 and omega 6)|
|Ice cream||Poppy||Walnuts and pine nuts|
|Meat, especially pork||Soy, corn and their oils||Eggs|
|Sausages, sausage, bacon, lard||Walnuts||grape seeds|
|Coconut oil||Olive, mustard oil||Sunflower and linseed oil|
|Palm oil||Sunflower seeds||Flax and chia seeds|
Harm of trans fats
At first, it was believed that trans fats are useful, they do not harm the body. Hydrogenated oils and margarines turned out to be especially attractive for manufacturers – they significantly reduced the cost of production of products and increased their shelf life.
But studies have shown that an artificially synthesized transform does not “fit” into the metabolism and clogs the body.
- increase the level of “bad” cholesterol;
- increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes;
- increase the risk of developing diabetes;
- contribute to the development of inflammatory processes;
- contribute to obesity.
Despite the proven harm, manufacturers continue to add trans fats to products. Business is business and consumer health is not a priority. But if it is not in our power to remove harmful products from supermarket shelves, then we are able to clean our refrigerator from “mutants”.
What foods contain trans fats:
- industrial baking;
- cakes, sweets;
- sauces, chips, snacks;
- semi-finished products;
- donuts fried in oil, chicken, french fries;
- ice cream;
- curds – processed, curd, glazed.
If you value your health and the health of your loved ones, remove these products from your grocery basket. By the way, many European countries completely banned or severely restricted the use of trans fats. Unfortunately, Russia is not yet among them.
Should You Eliminate Fat If You Want to Lose Weight?
Without enough fat, our body cannot function properly.
Healthy fats support the work of the cardiovascular, nervous and endocrine systems, prevent beriberi, improve blood circulation.
Our brain is 60% fat cells, and not enough fat disrupts its work.
Without fatty acids, it is impossible to maintain the beauty and elasticity of the skin – Omega-3 provides for its hydration.
With a lack of fat, testosterone production decreases.
Therefore, even with an excess of weight, doctors categorically do not recommend severely limiting the amount of fat in the diet. Moreover, with a lack of polyunsaturated fat, in particular, Omega-3, not only skin problems begin, but also obesity. It would seem a paradox, but it is true.
How much saturated and unsaturated fat should be in the human diet
It is impossible to give a definite answer to such a question. Lifestyle, physical activity, health status – when calculating fat intake, these and many other factors must be taken into account.
But as a universal recommendation, you can focus on the advice of WHO experts – fats should account for no more than 30% of the total amount of food. At the same time, the daily requirement for Omega-3 for an adult is at least 250 mg.
How to calculate your diet correctly
To learn more about how to calculate your diet with maximum health benefits, which foods contain healthy fats and how to lose weight without harming your body, study the Proper Nutrition course from nutritionist-nutritionist , a dietitian-nutritionist with over 13 years of experience, candidate of medical sciences, in the lessons of the course will tell you how to build a diet that is right for you, which foods should be avoided and which should be added more. finally put things in order in fats, proteins and carbohydrates.