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Good fats VS Bad fats

Fats are a group of substances that are found in all cells, both animals and plants, and can be synthesized from carbohydrates.
They are composed of three elements: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

As their carbon and hydrogen proportion is higher, they release more energy , approximately 9 kilocalories per gram of fat consumed.

In addition, they provide the body with essential fatty acids and carry out structural and regulatory functions.

 

Fats and their functions

Within the structural functions of fats, we can include:

  • Protect the organs and the body from injuries and blows.
  • Isolate the body from temperature changes.
  • At the cellular level, they transport nutrients and allow the proper functioning of cell membranes.

Regarding the regulatory functions:

  • They contribute to the feeling of fullness, because they delay the emptying of the stomach.
  • They serve as transporters of vitamins (A, D, E and K) and favor their absorption in the body.

 

Classification of fatty acids

Fats are composed of triglyceride molecules and these, in turn, are composed of fatty acids.

Depending on the presence of double bonds in its molecule, fatty acids are classified into different types:

 

Unsaturated fatty acids (AGI)

They are fats that have double bonds and are found in oils (except for coconut or palm) and foods of vegetable origin, as well as fruits and seeds.

  • Unsaturated fats can be classified, into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: They have a single double bond.

Among the foods that include them are:

  • Vegetable oils ( olive , sunflower, rapeseed)
  • Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Avocados

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: This type of fats can not be produced or synthesized by the body , however they are essential for humans.

 

For this reason, these elements, both of animal and plant origin, must be provided through food to regulate the metabolic processes of different systems of the human body.

These acids are classified into two groups: omega 3 and omega 6.

 

Omega 3

Among its functions are those of keeping cholesterol levels stable, reducing triglycerides in the blood and lowering blood pressure , among others. Thus, they reduce the risk of suffering thrombosis.

Among the foods that include them are:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Rapeseed and soybean oils
  • Blue fish (salmon, herring, anchovy, sardine and tuna)
  • Seafood

 

Omega 6

Like Omega 3, the mission of this type of fats is to maintain and reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Linoleic acid is found in this category. We can obtain it from foods such as corn, sunflower and soybean oil, nuts.

 

Saturated fatty acids (SFA)

Saturated fatty acids do not have double bonds. Among its main sources are animal fats and derived products, such as:

  • Meats
  • Sausages
  • Dairy products
  • Butter
  • Oils

This type of fatty acids are the ones that increase the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood , therefore, the intake in the daily feeding must be diminished.

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