Types of fat

Types of fats

Fats can be categorized into several types based on their chemical structure and impact on health. The main types of fats are:

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA)

              Monosaturated fat are a type of dietary fat that is considered one of the healthier fats. Monosaturated fats are associated with several heart-healthy benefits. These fats have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation, such as heart disease. Consuming monosaturated fats may improve insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar level. Common food sources of monosaturated fats find in olive oil, Avocado, nuts, seeds, canola oil and peanut oil.

Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA)

         Polyunsaturated fats are a type of dietary fat with multiple double bonds in their chemical structure. These double bonds create kinks in the fatty acid chain, preventing the fat molecules from packing tightly together. These fats are supporting heart health by reducing LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and contributing to brain health and cognitive function. Two main types of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and flaxseeds, have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for heart health. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil, are essential for the body cut should be consumed in appropriate balance with omega-3.

Saturated fats

     Saturated fats are a type of dietary fat that consists of carbon atoms fully saturated with hydrogen atoms, means they are no double bonds between carbon atoms in their chemical structure. A diet high in saturated fats is associated with increased risk of heart disease because it can raise levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. These are commonly found in animal products such as meat, poultry, and dairy as well as some tropical oils like coconut and palm oil.   

Trans Fats 

Trans fats, short for “trans-unsaturated fatty acids,” are a type of dietary fat. Most trans fats in the human diet are artificial, created during the hydrogenation process used in the food industry to convert liquid oils into solid fats. This process enhances the shelf life and texture of certain foods. Trans fat raise LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred as “bad” cholesterol, while lowering HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol. This unfavorable change in cholesterol levels increases the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Trans fats are commonly found in many processed and fast-food products, including fried foods, baked goods and snacks.

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