WHY THE BODY NEEDS IT
GOOD FAT, WHY THE BODY NEEDS IT
This is a fascinating subject
This is a fascinating subject, linked to cholesterol and dementia. When the body is deprived of good fat, it can lead to many complications. A very interesting, controversial and hot topic.
The objective of this section is to explain about the benefits of good fats and how they can assist in reducing high blood pressure, compared to bad fats that can raise blood pressure and cause many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity, there are many more which are detailed in this section.
WHAT IS FAT?
We need fat, it’s a nutrient and essential, without fat we would cease to exist. It’s the fat in our diet that gives us energy to go about our daily tasks. We need a small amount of fat daily, it’s an essential part of a balanced diet. Fat is also essential to ensure nutrients reach the organs and other parts of the body to keep us healthy.
However, there are different fats, some are good fats, others are bad fats. Plus, over the past years, opinions and medical science have changed their minds regarding the body’s response to some fats, more about opinions will be explained below. However, first let’s look at the many different fats and terminology used to describe them.
What are fats and oils? Again, a complex subject with many conflicting thoughts how fats and oils impact the human body, the medical fraternity and other authors have spent hours, days and years writing papers and books on every example mentioned below. For those interested, a search on the internet will explain so much more.
As mentioned, the objective of this section is to provide information how, fats and oils impact our lives, and in particular, high blood pressure.
Let’s look at the terminology used when discussing different fats and oils, and how they impact on the body. All the bullet points are a heading and a brief explanation, more information on these headings is explained later in this section, so let’s explore...
“What are fats and oils, and what impact they have on our body’s.”
Lipids, (including fats and oils) are molecules, in simple terms they make up the building blocks of some 30 trillion of cells in our body. The main function of lipids is to provide energy. Cells, some 30 trillion, is a big number, numerically it’s: 30,000,000,000,000
Fats are solid at normal household temperatures
Oils are a liquid at normal household temperatures
Animal fats are used to produce products such as butter, milk, sour cream, margarine, brown and white sugar, and more. There’s even animal fat in the new British £5 note!
Triglycerides is also known as a fat (A Lipid), it’s made up from a molecule called Glycerol, When you eat a meal, your body converts calories/carbohydrates into triglycerides, these are stored in your fat cells, these are released by hormones as energy between meals
As you will guess, if you eat more food than you burn off, you could increase triglycerides circulating in your blood, this causes people to be overweight and obese. If you do have high triglyceride levels, apart from causing overweight and obesity, there is an increased risk of high blood pressure, this may lead on to heart disease and a stroke
Did you know you?
Did you know you can eat twice as much carbohydrate (Proteins as fat) compared to a single number of calories. When people talk about weight loss, they often talk about carbs and calories, which leads on to the question, what’s best? Calorie Counting or Carb Counting. However, that’s a subject for others, the internet will explain more.
Let’s now look at saturated fat
Let’s now look at saturated fat, this type of fat is a minefield, opinions differ today when discussing saturated fat, opinions believed accurately some forty years ago have now been challenged. In years past scientist’s believed that eating saturated fat, increased the level of cholesterol in the blood stream. This was the basis of scientist’s concluding that, if cholesterol caused heart disease, and saturated fat caused cholesterol, then it was assumed that saturated fat caused heart disease! Today’s experts say there is no direct scientific link between saturated fat and heart disease, saying, humans have been eating saturated fat for thousands of years.
However, whether saturated fat is good fat or bad fat, it’s suggested people should limit saturated fat, and not exceed more than 10% of a balanced diet.
On the positive side of saturated fats, research has found that saturated fats are excellent for cooking as they are not damaged by heat, using coconut oil and butter work well, even when used for frying. However, polyunsaturated fat oxidises when heated.
In addition, food naturally high in saturated fat have been considered nutritious and healthy, albeit, it’s still recommended that no more than 10% of saturated fat is consumed to maintain a healthy diet.
Those who would like to know more about saturated fat, should scan the internet, you may need to allocate at least two or more weeks of your time.
Let’s now look at saturated fat
Let’s move on to unsaturated fat. There are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Monounsaturated Fat which are normally liquid at room temperature, they are said to be healthy reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and increasing longevity. Foods that have a high content of monounsaturated fat include, avocados, a variety of nuts, olive oil to name a few.
Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature, however, they can turn solid when chilled. One difference is that your body doesn’t make polyunsaturated fat, you only get it through your diet. You need polyunsaturated fat to allow your body to function. Polyunsaturated fats are the source of omega 3 and omega 6.
Scientists have expressed an opinion that omega 3 which cannot be made by our body, is so important to a healthy body and a healthy brain. Omega 3 is also anti-inflammatory, this helps in maintaining a healthy immune system. There are many benefits why omega 3 has an impact on blood pressure. Click on this link, it explains the benefits of omega 3 - Click Here
Scientists have a different opinion on omega 6...
However, scientists have a different opinion on omega 6, it is reported that omega 6 can help maintain a healthy body, however, we are told this has the opposite effect if you eat too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3. Omega 6 comes from some nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soybean and corn oil, all of which, if you eat too much omega 6 can cause inflammation in the body, cardiovascular disease, and damage to the organs in your body.
For those that want more information about Omega 6 please click the link below to visit a great website called “Healthline”. They explain about optimising the ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3.
Which brings us on to artificial “Trans Fats”
“Trans Fats” are really bad and need to be avoided. When omega 6 oils are used for frying and microwaving (These include vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soybean and corn oil) the high heat oxidizes the oil, it’s then omega 6 can start to damage your DNA, cause inflammation to your heart, and puts the body at risk of developing some cancers.
There are also naturally occurring trans fats that come from the stomachs of sheep, goats, cattle, also beef, lamb and more, however, to date there’s no scientific study that can determine what impact naturally occurring trans fats have on the human body.
These naturally occurring trans fats are formed from bacteria in the stomach of sheep, goats and cattle, these naturally occurring trans fats add up to 7% of the total fat in cheese, milk and dairy products.
Trans Fats also increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL). ( A new section about cholesterol, including Trans Fats, will be on this website by the middle of April)
A worrying fact is the food industry when producing food containing up to 0.5 grams of trans fats, is legally allowed to say on food labels, there are zero grams of trans fat per serving, giving the impression the food you are buying is free of trans fats.
Trans fats are in many foods, these include, margarine, some cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, fast food and more. It’s good news for lovers of McDonalds in America and Canada, they no longer use trans fats.
The information below explains how Trans Fats are made using hydrogenation.
THE PROCESS OF HYDROGENATION
Hydrogenation is a process used by the food industry using hydrogen to turn vegetable oil, such as Sunflower Oil, which are unsaturated fats, into solid fat. During this process called “Partially Hydrogenation”, a type of fat is manufactured, called Trans Fats.
- Food manufactures began using Trans Fats as there were substantial cost savings, Trans Fats increased shelf life, and made their products more stable.
- When sunflower oil is used at high temperatures, it gives off fumes called aldehydes when the smoke point is reached, it’s the particles that vaporise in the air that are carcinogenic, damage the lungs, the vapor has also been attributed as a cause of dementia. For reference Olive Oil tops the list of oils to use for frying.