Yesterday we started to discuss a very interesting topic and today we're going to continue our conversation. The second important component of our food is...
Fats are the part of all cell walls, i.e. they determine the structure and normal functioning of all cells in your body. Your skin condition, hair, appearance and your entire wellness – for example, the capability of resisting to infections - all depends on sufficient amount of fats in your body.
There are quite a lot functions of fats in human’s body:
-They facilitate absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and are included in the composition of bile, without which normal digestion is impossible.
- They (even including cholesterol) are the part of hormones without which our activity is impossible whatsoever, and you can also add here the hormones responsible for the weight lose!
- They increase taste of food, generally we define the taste of food due to the fats, because proteins have neutral or even bad taste, and almost all carbohydrates have sweet taste.
- They give us the feeling of satiety. Poor fat diet leads to constant hunger.
Already at this point you have to understand the main thing – fats MUST be in your diet, because without them your body can’t function normally. On the other hand not all fats are created equal, and now we’ll tell you about them much more than you could assume!
Fats that we consume with meals consist of fatty acids and glycerin. There’re two types of fatty acids (chemical characteristic – number of covalent bonds between carbon atoms in molecule): saturated and unsaturated.
Let’s start with fats which are considered nowadays to be quite useful for your body. I’m talking about unsaturated fats. They can be monounsaturated (such are contained in olive oil, canola oil, olives, avocado, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, macadia nuts etc.), and polyunsaturated (such are contained in various types of vegetable oil (sunflower, corn, cottonseed, olive), fish, especially in sturgeon and their caviar, sunflower and pumpkin seeds etc).
Why they are considered to be good? Because they raise the level of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins, HDL) and lower the level of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins, LDL).
HDL, high density lipoproteins:
Are highly soluble and don’t have tent to release cholesterol into the sediment, thus they protect blood vessels from atherosclerotic changes i.e. they’re not atherogenic.
LDL, low-density lipoproteins:
Are slightly soluble and have tend to release cholesterol crystals into the sediment and form atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels. Thus increasing risk of heart attack, ischemic stroke and other cardiovascular complications.
It’s also important that polyunsaturated fatty acids are not synthesized in our body so we can get them only from food. There is no food from which we can get all kinds of fatty acids needed to our body. This means that fat sources in your diet should be different, but the advantage ought to be given to meals rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids or just unsaturated.
Now we continue with saturated fats, which are considered to be relatively bad. This is due to the fact that they raise the common level of cholesterol including also the "bad" one. Most of them are contained in animal origin products (ham, pork, beef, butter, cheese, cacao, coconut, coconut milk, coconut butter, cream, cream cheese, ice-cream, pork fat, palm kernel oil, palm oil, game, sour cream, whole milk). Saturated that's are not that bad to exclude them from your diet (which would be a very hasty decision, because, for example, our brain consists of saturated fats), but you should be very careful with consumption of them.
And there are also fats of one more type which are the worst. So called trans fats. These are artificially created fats which are not encountered in nature. Striking example - the spreads (liquid unsaturated vegetable fats transform to solid-state saturated). They not only raise common level of cholesterol, but also lower the level of "good" cholesterol!
If you’re wondering why they were created, the answer is simple, as always in that case, for the sake of money. Usage of trans fats allows food products to be preserved on the store shelves for the longer time period. PROFIT! It is the trans fats that can be found in all food that reputed as harmful (fast food, chips, donuts etc.), so be careful! This food is considered to be bad not without reason.
Do you know what is recommended normal intake of trans fats? 0 grams, ZERO! Because even a small consumption of trans fats leads to increasing a chance of heart diseases and other problems connected with high level of cholesterol in the blood.
You should always remember that regardless of whether fats are “good” or “bad” they are still high-calorie nutrient, and it means that excessive consumption of them will lead to overweight. The third part will be tomorrow, and we’ll tell about CABOHYDRATES in it and then make a simple and clear summary for all information on the topic.