Medical Video: Mayo Clinic Minute: Are saturated fats OK to eat?
You might know the term good fat and bad fat. Good fat is needed by the body as a backup energy producer while bad fats risk causing many diseases if they continue to settle. This good fat is generally found in unsaturated fats. What is unsaturated fat? Why is fat known to be good for the body? Consider the following review.
What is unsaturated fat?
Unsaturated fats are good fatty acids for the body. This type of fat is also known as the termunsaturated fatIt is healthier than saturated fat and is found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and also some types of fish. This fat can be found in liquid forms such as olive oil, peanut oil, and corn oil. This oil is a recommendation by experts because of its good properties for the heart and other body parts.
Unsaturated fats consist of two types of fatty acids
1. Monounsaturated fatty acids
This fatty acid is also called MUFA (monounsaturated fats) which indicates that fat has only one double bond. Included in these fatty acids are palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, and acid vaccination are the most common types of acid and can be found in 90% of foods recommended during diet.
There are many good benefits from monounsaturated fatty acids for the body, such as:
All fats provide the same amount of energy, which is around 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins provide 4 calories per gram. Therefore, reducing the amount of fat in food can be an effective way to reduce calorie intake and lose weight. Reporting from Health Line, research shows that a high MUFA diet causes weight loss on a level with a low-fat diet.
Reducing the risk of heart disease
Replacing saturated fat in foods with MUFA can reduce the risk of heart disease. Too much cholesterol in the blood is a cause of heart disease because it can clog arteries and cause heart attacks or strokes. A small study found that MUFA reduced LDL (low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) cholesterol and increased HDL (high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol). However, it is important to note that the beneficial effects of a high MUFA diet can be obtained as long as it does not add extra calories to food.
Reducing the risk of cancer
A large study of 642 women found that those who had high oleic acid in fat tissue from olive oil had a lower risk of developing breast cancer. However, the research is only observational, meaning that it cannot prove cause and effect. Thus, a balanced healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle contribute more to this effect.
Improve insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. This prevents a person from diabetes. A study of 162 healthy people found that consuming high MUFA foods for three months increased insulin sensitivity by 9 percent. Other studies also show that consuming high MUFA foods for 12 weeks can reduce insulin resistance.
Inflammation is the process of the immune system in fighting infection. If there is inflammation in the long term, this can cause chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. A study shows that a high MUFA diet can reduce the development of inflammatory genes in fat tissue.
Some foods that are high in these fatty acids are avocados, olives, canola, peanut oil, almonds, and other nuts.
2. Polyunsaturated fatty acids
This fatty acid is also called polyunsaturated fat which indicates that fat has many double bonds. There are two types of these fatty acids, namely omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Both of these acids are needed by the body to improve brain function and cell growth.
Omega 3 fatty acids protect the heart in several ways, namely:
- Reducing triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood
- Reducing the risk of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Delaying plaque buildup in arteries
- Reducing blood pressure
Omega 6 fatty acids also have a function that is not much different from omega 3 fatty acids, which help control blood sugar, reduce the risk of diabetes, and reduce blood pressure. The body uses polyunsaturated fatty acids as reserve energy. Therefore, this type of fat is the right choice for people who are on a diet.
Some foods that are high in these fatty acids are sunflower seeds, salmon, tuna, corn oil, and soybean oil.
Eating healthy fats or unsaturated fats is good. However, if excessive it will certainly cause excess weight. In order for this to not happen, consumption of unsaturated fatty acids is a substitute for saturated fat or trans fat without adding other calorie intake. Consult your doctor or nutritionist if you want to apply a diet high in unsaturated fats to get the right advice.