Fats and fatty acids come in many forms. Some good, some bad, and others are extremely bad for our body and health. If you plan to change your diet for the sake of your health, or want to lose some extra weight, we present a brief rulebook of fat that you should know.
- Monounsaturated fats
These are fats that the body wants and needs. The most common sources of these types of fat in the form of oil we find in olive oil and oil in peanuts. At room temperature, these fats are in liquid form.
These groceries, thanks to the good fats they contain, are proven to reduce levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, and retain the good (HDL).
Sources: olives, peanuts, avocados, nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, as well as pumpkin and sesame seeds.
- Polyunsaturated fats
These fats are a great friend of our body and it is necessary to regularly enter them into the body.
Oils that contain this type of fat are the sunflower, corn, and sesame oil. A great source of polyunsaturated fatty acids is fish (omega-3 and omega-6) especially anchovies, mackerel and tuna.
It has been proven that these fats reduce the risk of heart disease, thus reducing the cholesterol.
Sources: fish, eggs, flaxseed, sesame, sunflower seeds, nuts.
- Saturated fats
Saturated fats, which are usually found in meat and animal products, as well as some vegetable oils such as palm and coconut oil, are considered bad. At room temperature, they are solid.
Excessive amounts of saturated fat in the diet, due to the increased risk of total and LDL cholesterol, are proven to cause blockage of blood vessels, which increases the risk of serious heart disease.
Sources: Refined oils (vegetable, palm), margarine, fatty red meat and processed meat products, butter.
- Trans-fatty acids
Trans fats occur in the hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids in the herbal oils for the production of pure fat (margarine), and during refinement of herbal oils at high temperatures (for frying food). Also, the natural form can be found in some animal products.
This type of fat is proven to significantly increase the risk of heart disease and blood vessels, as well as diabetes and obesity. It is considered very harmful because not only is it responsible for the increase of bad (LDL) cholesterol, but also it lowers the level of good cholesterol (HDL).
Sources: prepared foods with preservatives, dried soups, fried and junk food, like the one prepared in a lot of oil (fries, chips).