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Fat facts, saturated or unsaturated what to choose

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Fat facts, saturated or unsaturated what to choose

With healthy foods gaining in popularity, you’ve surely started paying more attention to terms like "fat, saturated fats, unsaturated fatty acid, poly and mono unsaturated fats" etc. Doesn’t it all baffle you? you may be wondering, what is saturated fat & what are unsaturated fats? so, It’s important to know what they mean & what to choose, in your healthy foods or healthy recipes.

Pure fats are found in three broad areas: vegetable oils (corn oil, peanut oil, olive oil), meats (the white layer which outlines the cut of meat) and dairy products. Some fats are found in foods from plants and animals and are known as dietary fat.

saturated fat vs unsaturated fats
what is saturated fat?
Saturated fat is the fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acid radicals Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. 

Or in other words " It is a fat that contains only saturated fatty acids and is solid at room temperature, and comes chiefly from animal food products. Some examples of saturated fat are butter, lard, meat fat, solid shortening, palm oil, and coconut oil.

what is unsaturated fat

An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain. A fatty acid chain is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond.

Like oils, these fats have more carbon double bonds. They are more liquid at room temperature. They include most of the vegetable oils such as peanut, safflower, sunflower, soy, corn, flax seed and sesame seed oil.

Some fats are somewhat saturated, including butter and olive oil, for example. These will be hard if you place them in the refrigerator, but will become soft or liquid at room temperature.

The degree of saturation of a fat is not that critical for its nutritional content. However, it is important because the more unsaturated an oil, the faster it goes rancid. Rancid oils can be very harmful to eat. 

What to choose?
Some nutritionists dedicate a lot of time, debating whether saturated fats like butter and coconut oil are better than unsaturated oils like soy or canola oil.

In my view, and has been for quite a while, that the fears about saturated fats are quite overblown. Recently, for example, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a review of saturated fat studies from the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California. The authors concluded that reducing saturated fat does not prolong life or lower the incidence of coronary heart disease.

The authors wrote:

“The conclusion of an analysis of the history and politics behind the diet-heart hypothesis was that after 50 years of research, there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life…Overall, dietary intervention by lowering saturated fat intake does not lower the incidence of nonfatal coronary artery disease; nor does such dietary intervention lower coronary disease or total mortality.”

This is not the only scientific group to catch on to the truth

In 2002, a report from the US National Academy of Sciences concluded there was no evidence that a diet low in saturated fat prolongs life. They went on to say that the real killer is trans-fatty acids. The report stated, “the only safe intake of trans-fat is zero.” 

Meanwhile, the real causes of heart disease are most likely nutritional deficiencies, chlorine in the water we drink, toxic metals in the food, water and air, and lifestyle factors such as how much rest and sleep one gets. 

Saturated fats have been eaten for generations, long before cancer and heart disease were common. In fact, there was less cancer and less heart disease when people in America ate more saturated fats.

Think wise............

You don't need to completely eliminate all fat foods, from your diet. In fact, some fats actually help promote good health. But it's wise to choose the healthier types of dietary fat, and then enjoy them — in moderation. 

Fats are important for your body because they insulate your nerve cells, balance your hormones, protect you from cold, keep the skin and arteries supple and also lubricate your joints. Fat is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body's functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve and nourish your body.                                                                                     

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