Good, bad, fat. All about fats in the diet
Saturated fats – good or bad?
Saturated fats, oddly enough, were included in the list of “good”.
The fact is that recent studies have shaken the old beliefs that saturated fats are responsible for cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
It all started in 2010 with a large-scale study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Within its framework, it was not possible to find any serious evidence that the use of these fats is associated with an increased risk of heart and vascular diseases.
In 2014, a study of the Annals of Internal Medicine confirmed these conclusions, finding no connection between limiting the use of saturated fats and improving the functioning of the cardiovascular system.
In 2015, the British Journal of Medicine published the largest study to date, which concluded that saturated fats are not at all associated with a deterioration in heart health.
Further research has even shown that the opposite is true – they are probably even able to improve it.
For example, coconut oil, which consists of 84% saturated fat, has a positive effect on health, increasing the level of “good” and even possibly reducing “bad” cholesterol.
These studies show that not all saturated fats are vascular killers, and their elimination from the diet for forty years may even have accelerated the increase in the number of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
In addition, with a low intake of saturated fats, as the study shows, there is a risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Sources of saturated fats:
- Dairy products
- Meat, poultry
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Cocoa butter
Naturally, not all saturated fats are useful, and even useful ones should be consumed in moderation.
A group of fats known as trans fats, which are clearly considered harmful at the moment, should be completely eliminated from your diet if possible.
What are trans fats?
Trans Fats in general are a product of industrial food production. Although there are some varieties present in animal products and by-products, naturally the most dangerous are artificial trans fats (“hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils”). This raw material is inexpensive, easy to use and stored for a long time. It is often used to give fried and otherwise processed products the desired taste properties and texture. Currently, various associations fighting for human health and the naturalness of nutrition around the world, trans fats are recognized as unsafe for ingestion.
Consequences of trans fat consumption
The fact that their presence in the diet is harmful to health is a well-proven fact. First of all, they increase the level of “bad” cholesterol, which creates plaque on the walls of blood vessels, which leads to atherosclerosis, increased blood pressure, the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
The British Journal of Medicine, in an earlier study that proved the absence of a link between saturated fats and heart disease, points to trans fats as the real culprit.
Trans fats can cause many problems, including an increase in cholesterol levels, the risk of stroke and heart attacks, and can create conditions for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
Many food companies and restaurants have decided to abandon their use today.
Please note that the so-called partially hydrogenated trans fats can still be used (if the company has received the appropriate permission), and if their content does not exceed 0.5 grams per serving, then their amount can be indicated as zero at all.
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