Facts on fats

Saturday, September 11th, 2010 | In Health | Tags: ,

Having a good understanding of healthy fats is essential to avoid diseases threaten your health.

Facts on fats: Good and Bad Fats
~ Facts on fats: Good and Bad Fats ~

Essential, undamaged dietary fats help us in the following roles:
1. Manufacture cholesterol, which is then used to produce sex and adrenal hormones.
2. Replace cellular membranes.
3. Enable the liver to manufacture bile acid.
4. Keep skin and hair healthy.
5. Maintain out brain functions.
6. Provide insulation to our body organs.
7. Provide energy to our hearts.

Fats offer twice the energy level compared to protein or carbohydrates. While the brain depends on glucose for its energy needs, the heart depends mainly on fats.

Good and Bad Fats Facts
~ Good and Bad Fats Facts ~

Taking the right balance of essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) can relieve tiredness. Research shows that taking four grams of these fatty acids per days for a month can significantly reduce fatigue in 75% of chronic fatigue patients.

Type of Fat
Saturate fat has no double-bond between carbon atoms within its molecular structure. This fat molecule is stronger than unsaturated fat. So Virgin coconut oil and palm oil possess higher heat resistance and are better able to withstand damage by free radicals and they become rancid (oxidized) less quickly.

Unsaturated fat has at least one double-bond between carbon atoms within its molecular structure. Polyunsaturated fat such as corn oil and sunflower oil are rather fragile and prone to free radical damage causing them to become rancid rather quickly.

Healthy Fats
To be considered healthy, fats must not be damaged during harvesting of crop containing the fats or while being extracted and processed or through improper storage and exposure to sunlight. It can also be destroyed by cooking at high temperature. It is apparent that healthy fats can be both saturated and unsaturated. If a particular type of fat generates inflammatory chemicals in our body, then it is considered unhealthy since inflammation is now viewed as the cause of most chronic health disorders or diseases.

About 50% of our cell membranes are made from this sterol. Most of our brain tissues are made from it too. Without adequate cholesterol, we soon develop hormonal imbalances and possible depression.

Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. Inflammation is its principal cause. Omega-6 fatty acids (Poly-unsaturates) are pro-inflammation while omega-3 (fish oil and flax seed oil) are anti-inflammatory unless oxidized. Having elevated level of the high density lipoprotein (HDL), for instance is essential for maintaining clean arteries plus a host of other health benefits. Triglycerides (TG) – a component of total cholesterol (TC) is more predictive of chronic health problems such as insulin resistance, diabetes and gall bladder disease than TC.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of TG is included in the TC computation. For those who are diabetic or severely pre-diabetic, their risk of developing arterial disease is significantly higher. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein-B particles are the most likely source of cholesterol found in atherosclerotic lesions (plaque). They are smaller than LDL-A particles and contain more triglyceride molecules.

Hypercholesterolemia (high serum cholesterol) becomes a health hazard when oxidative stress in the body is high. Heavily oxidized fats can be found in fried, rancid, overcooked, micro-waved, canned and packaged foods.

Cholesterol is part of bile acid. It is a fatty, waxy alcohol and is classified as a sterol (short for steroid and alcohol. human milk contains significant amount of cholesterol. Cholesterol is not found in plant-based food sources. However, our body can use bread, noodles, vegetable oil, rice or sugar to produce cholesterol. Our skin uses cholesterol to produce anti-cancer vitamin D in the presence of direct sunlight. Replacing animal/ livestock protein with soy protein can significantly improve the body’s cholesterol profile.

Trans and Hydrogenated fats
These are considered extremely toxic fats created by the food processing industry through hydrogenation (pumping hydrogen into fragile vegetable oils). It can also be created by deep frying, baking, grilling or microwaving vegetable oils under high temperatures and roasting oily foods at the high temperatures.

High intake of trans-fatty acids is strongly associated with some 300% higher risk of sudden cardiac death. Numerous studies have found that these fats raise “bad” cholesterol, lower “good” HDL cholesterol, interface with blood sugar/ insulin, damage cellular DNA and decrease immune function. Avocado oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat.

Source Credit: theSun Newspaper.


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