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Understanding The Effects of Unsaturated and Saturated Fats on Health

31 Oct

The fat in foods contains a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In foods of animal origin, a large proportion of fatty acids are saturated. In contrast, in foods of plant origin and some seafood, a large proportion of the fatty acids are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Fats are a source of energy. If we take in more food than we need, the excess nutrient will be stored as body fat. Triglycerides are the main form of fat in our bodies and in our diets. They provide us with energy, insulation, and protect our internal organs from damage. They also enable our bodies to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates more efficiently. Despite the many benefits triglycerides have, too much in our blood circulation can cause major health problems.

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. Obesity will lead to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus and strokes. Saturated fats are linked to raised cholesterol levels, particularly the ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a kind of fat needed for producing cell membranes and hormones. There are two types of cholesterol, Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and High density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is considered the”bad’ cholesterol which causes health problem, while HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol.

The ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood can cause furring up of arteries ( arteriosclerosis). This will narrow down the passage through which blood flows and thus increases the blood pressure which leads to heart attacks and strokes.

 

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