WellbeingFat Burning

What's the difference between the three types of fat?

WellbeingFat Burning

What's the difference between the three types of fat?

 | By Steve Walker | @SteveWalkerWeb

One of the most rampant (and potentially outdated) health warnings is for you to avoid or reduce fat. This has thrown humanity into a frantic frenzy trying to understand the healthy fats to take and the unhealthy ones to avoid. Despite the acrimonious condemnation of fat, it is worth noting that fats are vital for body functions. Let us differentiate the different types of fat available in the body.

Saturated Fats

They form the bulk of fats found in animal products. They are commonly associated with heart diseases, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol. Some of the foods that contain high saturated fats include dairy products like cream and cheese, palm kernel oil, cotton seed oil, coconut oil, lard, ghee, butter, suet and tallow. Some prepared foods and red meat also contain these prohibited fats. Packaged foods undergo a process called dehydrogenation. It transforms the fat in these foods to become saturated.

Polyunsaturated Fats

These fats have no effect on your cholesterol level. They are mainly found in vegetables like corn, sunflower and soy beans. This ranks alongside the healthiest fat types. It can also be found in animals like salmons. Nutritionists and health expert insist on adequate intake of polyunsaturated fats. The fats lower the concentration of unhealthy cholesterol ensuring that your blood veins are not clogged. This will keep you safe from heart diseases.

Notable examples of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and 6. These fats help in boosting brain function and development of body cells. Since the body does not generate own fatty acids, you have to get them from the food you consume. To ensure a healthy serving, 25-30% of your daily calories should be from fats. You are also required to reduce the amount of saturate fats you take in a day. This means making it less than 6% of your diet. Other than add the amount of polyunsaturated fat rich foods to your unhealthy plate, you are advised replace the unhealthy ones.

Monounsaturated Fats

These fats are usually endowed with essential fatty acids. They are very beneficial to the cholesterol level in your body. Some of the foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats include avocados and nuts. Olive oil is also an extremely rich source of monounsaturated fats. Other foods include corn oil, sesame oil, grape seeds and ground nuts. Canola oil and olive oil have the largest portion of monounsaturated hitting over 70%.

The challenge with polyunsaturated fats is that they spoil very fast. Storing them in the fridge will not reduce the chances of going bad either. Oils that are made from unsaturated fats get rancid during preparation. They spoil very quickly even at room temperature. Within weeks, they will be unhealthy to use.

It is important to read nutrition labels on the products you buy. Manufacturers destroy unsaturated fats in such ingredients as sunflower and push them more towards saturated. They will refer to the resulting oils as partially hydrogenated or just hydrogenated. This is the method used to produce the easy-to-spread margarine. Such products are considered unhealthy and increase your chances of developing cancers.