13 Surprising Facts about Healthy and Harmful Fats

October 14, 2023

Fats are essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. With them we gain weight, without them we lose health. The golden mean is to eat the right fats, in the right proportions and in the right quantities. Fats in the diet help the body absorb vitamins and minerals and perform other vital functions. A diet with too much unsaturated and saturated fat can increase body weight and raise cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. The Fashiongton Post today will tell you what the main types of fats are, which ones you should add to your diet, and which ones you should exclude from your diet.

Healthy and Harmful Fats

What are the benefits of fats for the body?

A small amount of fat is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet, as it is a source of essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Fat helps the body absorb vitamins A, D and E, which can only be absorbed with fat. Fats play a significant role in the construction of skin cells, blood vessels and nerve endings. By consuming fats correctly, you will ensure healthy and elastic skin, strengthen your heart and nervous system. Fat deficiency reduces immunity, which manifests itself in the form of frequent colds, weakness and increased fatigue.

healthy fats

Four main types of fats

  • saturated fats
  • trans fats
  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats

healthy fats

What are saturated fats?

Saturated fats are mainly animal products: milk, cheese, sour cream and meat. Poultry and fish contain less saturated fat than red meat. Saturated fats are also found in coconut oil, palm oil, coffee creamer, and foods made with oil (such as cakes, cookies, and desserts).

List of foods with saturated fats

  • milk
  • cheese
  • butter
  • cream
  • ice cream
  • fat meat
  • bacon
  • sausages
  • pork
  • coconut oil
  • palm oil
  • confectionery products (sweets, cookies, pastries and cakes)

Healthy and Harmful Fats

What are unsaturated fats?

Unsaturated fats are considered healthy fats because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, stabilize heart rate, and have a number of other health benefits. Unsaturated fats are primarily found in plant foods such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.

Two types of unsaturated fats

  • monounsaturated fats
  • polyunsaturated fats

Healthy and Harmful Fats

List of foods with monounsaturated fats

  • olive and peanut oil
  • avocado
  • nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans)
  • pumpkin and sesame seeds.

List of foods with polyunsaturated fats

  • sunflower oil, corn, soybean and linseed oil
  • pine and walnuts
  • eggs
  • flax seeds and grape seeds
  • fatty fish (tuna, salmon, trout, salmon, mackerel, fish roe.

Healthy and Harmful Fats

Trans fats

Trans fats are processed and artificially produced fats that appear in vegetable oils when they are reheated to high temperatures. Trans fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, negatively affect metabolism and can cause diabetes.

List of foods with trans fats

  • confectionery products (cookies, donuts, waffles, pastries, cakes, chocolate bars)
  • margarine, butter, refined vegetable oil
  • sauces: mayonnaise and ketchup
  • popcorn, crackers, chips
  • quick breakfast mixes
  • semi-finished meat and fish products, frozen dinners
  • fast food (french fries, burgers, etc.)

Tips for eating fats

To ensure that fats are beneficial and not harmful, follow these recommendations from The Fashiongton Post:

  • Eliminate or minimize the consumption of trans fats to no more than 2-3 g per day.
  • Consume saturated fats in limited quantities; it is best to replace them with unsaturated fats. The daily intake of saturated fat is no more than 20-30 g.
  • Include as much unsaturated fat in your diet as possible. It is recommended to consume them in an amount of 1 g/kg body weight per day.

Healthy and Harmful Fats