What does fats do to your body? Fats are an important part of your diet, but some are healthier than others. Find out which to choose and which to avoid.
Dietary fat is essential for your health. It gives you energy and helps your body absorb vitamins. But certain types of fat may play a role in heart disease and stroke. In addition, fat is high in calories. Eating too many calories can lead to weight gain and ultimately obesity.
Learn which fats to choose and which to avoid, for good health.
Table of Contents
Some Facts about Fat
Most foods contain a mixture of different types of fats. For example, canola oil contains saturated fat, but mostly monounsaturated fat. Avocados, on the other hand, contain some unsaturated fat, but mostly saturated fat.
What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?
These are called “bad” fats. It is mainly found in animal products such as beef and pork, and in high-fat dairy products such as butter, margarine, cream, and cheese. Many saturated fats are also
in many processed foods and fast cake products such as pizza, desserts, hamburger, cookies and pastries. These fats tend to be “more difficult” (thinking of avocado or saint) compared to better fat.
Food Guide for Americans recommends to limit saturated fat to less than 10% of calorie daily. The US cardiovascular association recommends staying 7% of daily calories.
Why? Because saturated fat tends to increase the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Saturated fat occurs naturally in red meat and dairy products. It is also found in baked goods and fried foods.
Trans fats occur naturally in small amounts in red meat and dairy products. Trans fats can also be made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils.
This man-made form of trans fat is called a partially hydrogenated oil. It has an adverse effect on cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. For this reason, partially hydrogenated oils can no longer be added to foods in the United States.
This is the healthy kind, and there are two types: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados and peanut butter; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans; and nuts, such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. It is also found in vegetable oils, such as olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, and canola oils.
Polyunsaturated fats include omega3 fatty acids and omega6 fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, and safflower oils, and they are abundant in walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and fish such as salmon, mackerel, and mackerel. herring, tuna and salmon.
The main health problem associated with dietary fats is their effect on cholesterol levels. Consuming large amounts of saturated fat creates more LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can form plaque in the arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Studies show that eating foods rich in unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
One in particular – omega-3 fatty acids – seems to improve heart health by improving cholesterol levels, reducing blood clotting, reducing irregular heartbeats, and slightly lowering blood pressure.
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There are two main types of unsaturated fats:
- Monounsaturated fats. It is found in olive, canola, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils, as well as in avocados, peanut butter, and most nuts. It is also part of most animal fats such as chicken, pork, and beef fat.
- Polyunsaturated fats. It is found in sunflower, corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils. It is also found in walnuts, pine nuts, flaxseeds, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Omega3s fall into this category and are found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines.
Why Do You Need Fat In Your Diet?
What does fats do to your body? it is a fundamental question that must be answered to explain the relationship between fat and the human body.
Your body needs dietary fat for many biological processes. You cannot live a healthy life without it. Here are some of the essential roles dietary fats play in your body:
Helps you absorb vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, which means your body can only absorb them when you consume them with fat. A lack of fats in your diet can lead to deficiencies in these vitamins, leading to various health problems.
Supports cell growth. Fats provide structure for the outer membranes of every cell in your body.
Supports brain and eye health. The omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), help maintain the health of your brain, central nervous system, and retina. Your body doesn`t make these fatty acids — you can only get them from your diet.
Wound healing. Essential fatty acids play a key role in wound healing and blood clotting.
Hormone production. Your body needs dietary fat in order to make specific hormones, including the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.
Energy sources. Each gram of fat you eat gives you about 9 calories of energy. For comparison, each gram of carbohydrate or protein produces only 4 calories of energy.
What does Fats Do to Your Body?
We note two main points regarding the question what does fat do to your body? The first is the relationship between fat and body weight, the second relates to the nutrients needed for the human brain. For more details, read the following description:
Relationship Between Fat Intake And Weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (diseases of the heart and blood vessels) and some forms of cancer. Therefore, it is important to lose weight if you are overweight.
It is true that a high-fat diet can lead to weight gain. The reason behind this is that one gram of fat contains about twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and protein. To lose weight, eating low-fat foods is not enough. You should also watch the calories you consume and familiarize yourself with the appropriate portion sizes.
Since fat sources have more calories, it’s important to understand what a fat intake is. For example, one teaspoon of butter, margarine or mayonnaise is equivalent to one serving of fat. For those times when you may not have a measuring spoon, the visual equivalent of a teaspoon is the tip of your thumb. See serving examples for added fats below.
If you are looking at the sources of fat listed above and think you are consuming extra fats and/or high-fat foods with most meals and snacks, try following these guidelines. Tips to help you control fat intake.
Nourishing the Brain
Another benefit of eating more “good” fat and less “bad” fat is that it can keep the brain healthy, says Malik. Studies have found a strong link between people who follow the MIND diet and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND Diet recommends eating more than 10 certain foods and less than five others. Among the good foods are healthy fats like nuts, fatty fish and olive oil, while the bad ones – butter, cheese, red meat, pastries and fried foods, and fast food – contain trace amounts. large saturated fat.
A 2015 study in the journal Alzheimer & Dementia examined more than 900 people between the ages of 58 and 98 who completed food questionnaires and underwent repeated neurological tests. . It found that those whose diets most closely adhered to the MIND recommendations had cognitive function comparable to that of someone seven years younger.
How Do I Start Eating Healthier?
Focus on replacing foods high in saturated fat with foods high in unsaturated fat. Try these tips to reduce unhealthy fats in your diet:
- Use oil instead of butter. For example, sauté with olive oil instead of butter and use canola oil when cooking.
- Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, instead of meat at least twice a week.
- Choose lean meats and poultry without the skin. Trim visible fat from meat. Remove fat and skin from poultry.
- Limit processed foods, which often contain saturated fat. Instead, choose whole fruits and vegetables when you feel hungry.