Fats are one of the macronutrients that we need for living. We know different types of fats in the food that you should know about if you want to lose some weight and stay healthy. Healthy fats are very important for our body to function properly. But which are healthy fats?
Our nutrition is full of bad fats that can be found in pre-prepared food, cookies, pizzas, donuts, and other food that we love. How about your health? If you eat unhealthy food and fats; your body will start to show signs of bad health and diseases.
Fats are on a bad name but you should know which are healthy for you, so you can focus on them and preserve your health.
Watch Out for the Modern Diets with Low Amount of Fats
Most modern commercial diets are about the regulation of the fat amount in the diet.
Most of the diet could be classified into two groups:
- Diets that reduce fat in foods to a minimum (below 10%)
- Diets based on a very low proportion of carbohydrates, and a high intake of fat that passes into the ketones from which the body gets the needed energy
Both types of diet affect to some extent the loss of fatty deposits, but it is always necessary to take into account the impact on fat accumulation, and the negative impact of such diets on health.
The purpose of this article is not to discuss individual diets by comparing their positive and negative effects but discussing optimal and healthy diets. Thus you can find that similar diets work to some extent, but the results are far from optimal. All these diets have negative consequences.
It is vital to know that different fat sources have a different chemical structure. Thus they have a different impact on weight loss and health. This also applies to those people who don’t want to lose weight but just want to eat healthily.
Almost all the fats you consume with food (as well as those contained in body fat stores) consist of triglycerides. Triglycerides consist of a glycerol molecule to which three fatty acids are bound. The variety of fatty acids is the one that separates individual sources of fat since their composition depends on their influence on your body and their tasks in it.
- Saturated fatty acids
- Monounsaturated fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Types Of Fats In Food
As you already know, we have three types of fats in the food that can bring us positive and also negative health effects.
Saturated Fatty Acids
They are found mainly in meat and products of animal origin. Saturated fatty acids can only be used by the body for energy; meanwhile, the excess of fat goes into the body fat stores (that is the source of energy for later periods, the protection of internal organs, isolation).
They have an adverse effect on health as they increase the level of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. It can also reduce the sensitivity of insulin receptors, which can lead to diabetes. We recommend that you completely avoid them on the diet. In certain cases, the exception are short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, but they are rare in food (see below).
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
They are mainly in olive oil. Because monounsaturated fatty acids have a double bond, they are much less stable than saturated fatty acids. Therefore we don’t recommend you to warm them up.
These fatty acids serve the body as a source of energy and have certain positive effects (lowering the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, increasing the sensitivity of insulin receptors).
Monounsaturated fatty acids can present a small part of the fat intake during the diet, but later, when we return to constant healthy eating, it is slightly higher. We find them in highly concentrated rapeseed, peanut and olive oil, avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are one of the three types of fats in the food that we eat. They include omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Both omega 6 and omega 3 are essential for the body functioning (they are a structural element of membranes, a substance for the formation of hormone-like substances that perform many important functions in the body and similar).
Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids can’t be produced by our bodies, so we must urgently consume them with food. The deficiency of these fatty acids leads to various diseases.
Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are unrefined vegetable oils and fish (fish are a great source of fatty acids omega 3). Omega-6 is much higher than the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in modern nutrition. The result is a lack of omega-3 fatty acids. When omega-6 is substantially dominant over omega-3 they eliminate certain omega-3 functions.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very important for weight loss, as they have a positive effect on metabolic rate. They are preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue, which is the main consumer of calories. The muscles decompose rapidly; if we have reduced calorie intake (during dieting).
Omega 3 fatty acids increase the number of insulin receptors on the cells and increase their sensitivity, which leads to a decreased need for insulin. Insulin is a hormone that negatively affects weight loss by preventing lipolysis (degradation of body fat) and promoting lipogenesis (accumulation of body fat).
Therefore, it is essential to add fatty acids of omega 3 in diets. Unsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, relieve inflammation, regulate heart rate, and have many other positive effects. An excellent source is flax and fish oil and food supplements containing omega 3.
How many Fats on a Daily Basis?
Types of fats in food are different and you can decide to eat the healthy ones. Fats should present for about 33% of daily caloric intake. Therefore, if you consume around 2000 kcal daily, this is about 75 g of fat (or 675 kcal of fat). You should consume two-thirds of omega 3 fat (flax and fish oil or omega 3 capsules). The remaining third should be omega 9 fatty acids that you can consume with olive oil.
Consuming healthy fatty acids is not recommended just for weight loss, it can prevent dangerous diseases also (diabetes for example). If you eat unhealthy food from the store that we mentioned at the start, you should think about changing the source of fats. Get rid of margarine, sunflower oils and get olive and nut oils that your body will be happy to digest and take for the energy.