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Fatty Acid Back to top
Many different fatty acids can be found, they differ in composition. Saturated fatty acids have many hydrogen atoms and keep well, Monosaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids are missing hydrogen atoma and can go rancid with contact of oxygen. All fats contain a mixture of these fatty acids in different proportions, large amounts of unsaturated fats makes the fat liquid form (oil).
Saturated fatty acids-these are the naughty ones that clog up the arteries.
Palmitic acid and Stearic acid are the main constituents of hard fats such as butter, lard and coco butter.
Myristic acid occurs in butter and coconut oil.
Butyric acid present in small amounts contributed to the taste of dairy fats.
Unsaturated fatty acids-These are essential in small amounts to our health
Linoleic acid occurs in large amounts in vegetable seed oils , soya been and sunflower oils and small amounts in some animal fats such as pork.
Linolenic acid occurs in small amounts in vegetable oils
Arachidonoc acid occurs in very small amounts in some animal fats.
GLA, EPA, DHA, can all be found in plants or fish oils and are thought to be particularly beneficial to health, they are sometimes called omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids
Because your body cannot manufacture them, they must come in from the food you eat.
Essential fatty acids fall into two groups: omega-3 and omega-6. The 3 and 6 refer to the first carbon double bond position on the fatty acid chain. All essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated, so the 3 and the 6 mean that the first double bond is either 3 or 6 carbons in from the end.
Omega-6 fatty acids are everywhere: corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil all contain them. Omega-3 fatty acids are harder to find. Things like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, as are salmon, trout and tuna. Current thinking is that these two fats need to be balanced in the diet at a ratio like 1-to-1 or 2-to-1, rather than the normal 20-to-1 ratio seen in most Western diets. About the only way to do that is to supplement your diet with omega-3 vegetable oils or to start eating fish in a big way at least two or three times a week.
The Good Back to top
The Bad Back to top
These are usually solid or nearly solid at room temperature. All animal fats, like in meat, poultry, and dairy products are saturated. Processed and fast foods are also saturated. Vegetable oils also can be saturated. Palm, palm kernel and coconut oils are saturated vegetable oils. Fats containing mostly unsaturated fat can be made more saturated through a process called "hydrogenation."
Saturated fats are the very unhealthy fats. They make the body produce more cholesterol, which may raise blood cholesterol levels. Excess saturated fat is related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The amount of cholesterol found in foods is not as important as the amount of saturated fat. Of all the fats, saturated fat is the most potent determinant of blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats stimulates the production of LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and therefore increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and LDL-cholesterol levels more than dietary cholesterol itself.
It is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream. It comes from two sources, your body and food. It is made by the liver and is used by the body to make hormones and other materials. Cholesterol is an essential part of the human body.
It must be present for the body to function normally. However, the average high-fat/high-cholesterol diet tends to add too much cholesterol to the bloodstream. The excess cholesterol accumulates, along with other substances, in the walls of the blood vessels. Over time, this causes the arteries to become narrow and eventually cuts off the blood flow to the heart leading to a heart attack, or cuts off the blood flow to the brain leading to a stroke.
Blood cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has set guidelines for classifying blood cholesterol levels. They advise that a total cholesterol level less than 200mg/dl is a desirable level for adults.
Unsaturated fatty acids can be in one of two shapes "cis" and "trans."
These terms refer to the physical positioning of hydrogen atoms around
the carbon chain. The cis form is more common than the trans form.
Trans-fatty acids (TFA) are found in small amounts in various animal
products such as beef, pork, lamb and the butterfat in butter and
milk. TFA are also formed during the process of hydrogenation, making
margarine, shortening, cooking oils and the foods made from them a
major source of TFA in the American diet.
Butter or Margarine ? Back to top
better than margarine? Recent studies on the potential
cholesterol-raising effects of TFA have raised public concern about
the use of margarine and whether other options, including butter,
might be a better choice. Some stick margarines contribute more TFA
than unhydrogenated oils or other fats.
Is butter better ? Don't let the fear of trans fats in margarine lure you to the butter dish. Butter contains far more artery-clogging fat than margarine. Many of the tub margarines and spreads now available contain little or no trans fats. Check the label to be sure that liquid oil is the first ingredient. A tub margarine is usually a better choice than stick margarine.
Oil is oil. All fats or oils get 100% of their calories from fat. No oil is "less fatty" than another. Whether it's palm oil or canola, one tablespoon packs about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Olive oil is considered by some to be a healthfuy choice because it's primarily monounsaturated fat.
Canola When it comes to choosing an oil, canola runs a close race with olive oil. Olive oil has a bit more monounsaturated fat than canola, but canola oil is the lowest in saturated fat.
Fat is abundant When it comes to deciding how much fat or oil you should eat. If you want to cut your dietary fat intake, you'll need to eat less butter, margarine, and oil-no matter what type. Worried about not getting enough fat? Most whole grains, fruits, veggies and beans contain small amounts of fat, so there's little chance of a fat deficiency in a varied diet.
More flavour If you are using less oil, choose ones that give you the most flavor-like extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings, and peanut or sesame oil in stir-fries.
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