Dietary Fats- Good Fats and Bad Fats

There might be a lot of people around you which tell you to stop eating fats if you want to lose weight. The general assumption which passed on from people is that fats are the reason of your weight gain.

But there is less struggle to know how do fats make you fat. The fats are not necessarily the causative agents to make you fat. They are a part of a routine diet which many of us don’t know about.

This article will tell you what the fat is and how do they contribute to gain weight. It will also unleash some fundamental misconceptions which involve the usage of fats and their potential damages for the body.

What are fats?

Fats are a food nutrient which is naturally found in many food types. They are a part of proteins, dairy products, and carbohydrates. They are called oils. Some other food products such as meat and pulses also have fats in them, but the amount varies.

Eating a high amount of fats can cause a weight gain. Even taking large quantities of carbohydrates and proteins can also increase our fats intake. It is important to create a balance between eating and over eating. In this way, not just the weight but cholesterol, uric acid and blood pressure is maintained as well.

Types of Fats

Fats are available in saturated and unsaturated forms. When we take either form of fats in the diet, the process of digesting it becomes very complicated. That is why most of the people warn you before taking them.

As far as healthy body working is concerned, fats are only required in minimal amount for the optimal functioning. For that, you need to eat the right type of fats and avoid all other so that your body weight maintains.

Some types of fats is especially good to the body, whereas the rest are often problematic. Here is some more detail on this differential mechanisms

  1. Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are those who have a double bond between their chemical structure. They have following sub categories.

  • Mono-unsaturated fats

These particular type of fatty acids have only one double bond between the members of their structure. This double bond is located on the amino acid chain. The strength of this relationship also matters a lot.

If the relationship is stronger the fats or oil will be thicker having a higher viscosity. These monounsaturated fats are a standard part of individual food recipes such as Mediterranean food. One of the most famous examples of mono-unsaturated fats is olive oil which has 80% to 85% of the mono saturated fats in it.

Examples of mono unsaturated fats are as follows.

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Avocados

  • Poly unsaturated fats

When the double bonds on amino chains are more in number and not just one, they are called poly unsaturated fats. These chains have many double bonds irrespective of the exact position in different compounds.

For the numerous bonding pairs, the viscosity of poly saturated fats is a lot more than mono saturated fats. They tend to be so much thicker than mono unsaturated fats.

They are a standard part of nuts, fish, and legumes and are an excellent addition to the diet. Poly saturated fats are a good source of nutrition with reduced risk of heart and circulatory diseases.

In fact using them for long keeps a good healthy heart and a functional circulatory system. All these factors add up to make a healthy diet routine.

Some examples of poly-unsaturated fats are as follows.

Omega 3 fats; Fish

Omega 6 fats; Safflower oil, Soybean oil, nuts

  • Trans fats

Trans fats are more like an artificial option. They are obtained from artificial sources such as hydrogenating plant oils. Rarely they are a part of natural foods, i.e., milk and other dairy products.

Trans fats are not healthy, and they are not good for the health. Using trans fats ignoring the mono saturated fats and poly saturated fats induces a high-risk of heart problems.

The risks are not just related to one thing. The other problems may also arise such as liver dysfunction, abnormal weight gain, obesity, stomach problems, digestive issues and even cancer.

Trans fats are a part of cheap cooking oils which you may come across the shopping store. They are usually low priced, but the price which you pay after becoming unhealthy is very high.

Always keep away from cheap brands which provide no information on their ingredients. Always trust a good cooking oil brand and avoid all low-value restaurants which you doubt for the food quality.

2. Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are those who lack double bonds in them. The names saturated shows that they have a saturation of hydrogen which leaves less chance for any double bond to emerge.

Saturated fats are present in animal fats. Many nutritional types of research are centralized for this aspect. What you may find in many studies is that saturated fats are not that bad for the health.

However, they aren’t good either. They have associations with lethal diseases such as cancer. It means it is not a good idea to use saturated fats as an alternative to poly saturated fats.

Another risk with using saturated fats is that they make you unhealthy overall. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart issues are only a few examples of what it may cause to you.

Examples of saturated fats are as follows.

  • Animal-Based; Dairy foods (Butter, cream, full-fat milk, cheese, etc), meat (beef, pork, lamb),
  • Plant-Based; coconut and its oil, margarine, palm oil.
  • Processed Food; Snacks, deep-fried food, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pastries, pies, biscuits ( sweet and savory).

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is one particular type of fat which is found in food. It accumulates in the blood and gets its name cholesterol. Unlike the modern mystery, cholesterol plays major roles inside the body.

The risk only arises when the body accumulates the wrong type of cholesterol in high amounts. It is primarily linked with the heart diseases.

Once the scientists believed that high amount of cholesterol containing foods is responsible for increasing the cholesterol inside the body.

The latest research tells that it’s not just the cholesterol rich food but eating high saturated and trans saturated foods increase this chance even more. It is better to maintain a balance between all types of fats.

What should you do?

For a healthy and disease free life, you should always watch out what you are eating. It is necessary to choose healthy eating options because that’s what you are feeding to your body.

Eating poly unsaturated fats is a better choice than to use trans fats and high cholesterol. Use a balanced diet which has all these nutrients in a balanced quantity. Try to follow an exercise or physical exertion habit which is necessary to burn all the unnecessary fats.

Above all, for a healthy life, nutrition wise, it is better to consider these basic things so that a bigger health problem is avoided. It is not something out of the way. One can easily search for such things and make a habit of clean eating for future.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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