DIETARY FATS TYPES – NUTRIENTS OVERVIEW #1
Dietary fats are completely misunderstood by the general fitness public. They've gained a bad reputation - which is one of the biggest downsides of the fitness industry influence. The truth is that fat is a highly important nutrient (probably the most important) opposed to carbohydrates, which our bodies can survive without. Not only it's used for energy, but also forms the structure of every cell in the body. The types of fats consumed affect the properties of this structure. In general, the more rigid the cellular membrane is - the less flow of nutrients it allows. The natural stiffness of membranes occurs with ageing and is affected by diet.
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Found mostly in animal products. Normally considered to be harmful and dangerous. Research prove though that it may be dangerous only with a regular high content of carbohydrates in the diet. It has many positive effects on general health.
It can be overdosed though - it can make cellular membranes of our bodies to "thick and rigid", especially with incorrect diet principles concerning the rest of nutrients.
The primary fat in olive, canola, almond and a few other plant oils. It's liquid at room temperature. They are quite stable at high temperatures, that's why they're good for frying or cooking. The commonly spread advantage of those is their ability to aid weight loss - but the truth is more complicated. This type of fats fill your fat cells very efficiently, and it's hard to get rid of. Overuse of them (particularly in conjunction with carbohydrates) can rapidly accelerate body fat gain. It's best to use it with high fiber intake (dressing for salads for example). Avoid it on your carb replenish evenings.
Supposedly to be the healthiest type of dietary fats. It can be found in various plant and seeds oils. Many people consider seed, vegetable and nut oils, as healthy. Unfortunately, the truth is not that simple. Even the mainstream nutrition organizations recommend eating them because of the claim that unsaturated fats are much healthier than saturated fats. However, many studies prove that these oils are not as healthy and nutritious as commonly thought. Moreover - they can cause serious harm. Consuming most of these fats on a regular basis is leading to physiological changes within our bodies and contributing to multiple diseases.
- OMEGA 3'S (DHA and EPA forms - found in animal sources of fats)
It is the most beneficial type of polyunsaturated fat, especially considering the abundance of other nutrients. More about them you'll read in The Universal Diet Online Book.
- OMEGA 6'S
Most vegetable and nut oils contain very high ratios of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s. Omega-6 fatty acids are highly inflammatory, and people already get a huge amount of them from other food they're ingesting. Omega-6 are also competitive for all the enzymes necessary to break all the other fats in your system.
With high amounts of omega-6s in your body, you become prone to a prolonged inflammation (short-term inflammation, this induced by exercising, for example, is beneficial due to forcing your body to start repairing processes). You’re also hinder your body's ability to convert all the fatty acids from the raw materials that are available at the moment. By reducing most vegetable and nut oils consumption and choosing better alternatives, you will significantly limit the problems. To read more about vegetable and fat oils - read this article: Vegetable, Seed, and Nut Oils: Health and Fat Loss Issues
- LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 3 - USUALLY PLANT BASED FORM)
Scientists, doctors, and nutritionists have been advising to replace saturated dietary fats with polyunsaturated fats. The practice did bring down cholesterol, which was considered the main reason for many diseases (and still is by many). Although heart diseases, obesity, and metabolic disorders sky-rocketed.
Americans are consuming an extremely high amount of the polyunsaturated fat - linoleic acid (LA), and that intake is the leading cause of disease. While linoleic acid is unavoidable and safe in small amounts, the excess causes metabolic damage and fat gain.
A high content of LA in the body is strongly associated with damaged metabolic health.
Increasing amounts of LA impairs insulin sensitivity and plays a role in the metabolic disorder, diabetes, and obesity. The exact mechanism of this process isn't known, but it is predicted that it has something to do with adversely changing gene expression.
Moreover, there is some evidence showing that oxidized LA can interfere with the process of fat metabolism.
To reverse the adverse effects of consuming vegetable, nut, and seeds oils that already happened in the body, and to decrease the levels of Linoleic Acid that built up throughout years of eating it, it is advised to avoid most these oils. Research shows that it will take a year or two for the percentage of LA percentage of body fat to drop by half. If that is a problem for somebody - at least restricting consumption of these oils and reduce the frequency of using them would be beneficial.
It is worth to mention that pork and chicken fat may contain some amount of LA as well (but still less than previously mentioned oils). It is highly dependent on the way animals were fed.
Data show that a high polyunsaturated fat diet including LA can improve cholesterol levels. While it is true that high consumption of these fats can improve them, it will also increase the risk of a variety of diseases.
Fats considered to bring adverse effects of saturated fats, or even worse. BUT not all trans-fats are that dangerous. Those fats (commonly thought to be only artificial) are naturally occurring. Those type of trans-fats possesses health benefits. The natural form of them - CLA and CLnA occurs in beef, safflower oil and some seeds and nuts.
Artificial trans dietary fats occur in bakery type foods made on a global scale (cookies, pies, cakes). The important thing to mention is that the threat comes from the long-term elevated consumption of those fats, which your body easily stores. But the solution to overcome downsides of those fats is quite simple - losing body fat. Trans-fats are very easily released from fat cells as a source of energy (especially efficient with the diet I recommend)