There are different types of fats in the diet and some fats are much healthier for our health. Fat is essential for a variety of body functions. Fat is a source of energy and it protects our skeleton and nerves.
Not all types of fats are equally beneficial. For example- saturated and trans fats can increase the risk of cholesterol disease. Dairy products, meat, snacks and baked goods contain saturated and trans fats. Some sources of healthy fats include oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
How many types of fat
- Fats or fatty acids: Fats or fatty acids can refer to any type of fat.
- Lipids: It can be either liquid or solid.
- Oil: It is liquid at room temperature.
- Animal fats: These include butter, cream and meat fats.
- Vegetable fats: These include olive, peanut and avocado fats.
Fat is an important part of the diet of humans and animals. The body needs fat for protection, warmth and energy.
Is fat good for health?
Below is a discussion of whether fat is good for health or not:
Saturated fats can increase health risks if you eat too much over a long period of time. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) bad cholesterol levels in the body are increased by consuming too much saturated fat.
It can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The American Heart Association Trusted Source (AHA) recommends not eating more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Some sources of saturated fat include:
- Dairy products.
- Processed foods, including baked goods, snack foods and french fries.
- Coconut oil, palm oil and some vegetable oils.
It is liquid at room temperature and is found mostly in vegetable oils. So these are considered as good fats.
There are two types of unsaturated fats:
Monounsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol levels and good lipoprotein (HDL) helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Adding monounsaturated fats to the diet as well as taking in saturated fats should be reduced.
Health professionals say that foods rich in monounsaturated fats can reduce a person’s risk of heart disease. Mediterranean foods may reduce the risk of chronic disease because they contain high levels of monounsaturated fats.
Sources of monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive and olive oil.
- Almonds and almond butter.
Nutritionists say that polyunsaturated fats are good for our health. Polyunsaturated fats contain omega 3 acids that help keep the heart healthy. It can reduce triglycerides in the blood and improve the health of the brain, joints and eyes.
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Sources of polyunsaturated fats include:
- Oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines, trout, salmon and herring.
- Grape seed, yolk, soybean, and sunflower oil.
- Almonds, seeds, and eggs.
Trans fat is not essential and it is harmful. Trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels and lowers HDL cholesterol levels. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The WHO has called for the elimination of trans fats from the global diet.
Sources of trans fat include:
- Fried foods, such as french fries.
- Pies, donuts, pastries, biscuits and baked goods.
- Cookies and crackers.
- Packaged food.