Fats in food
Fat is not that bad, as society has made us to believe. These days people want to look skinny because they want society to see them in a certain way. But fats in our bodies play an important role, although in excess of it, the body will begin to have problems.
Why are fats important?
Fats insulate the body from adverse environmental temperatures. It helps us stay warm when it gets cold.
Fats keep our skins moisturized and keep it from drying out.
Fats protect vital blood vessels, organs, joints and tissues in our body.
When we eat, the body is able to convert excess energy into fat molecules for storage, to be used at a later time when needed. This is why animals (and humans) are able to survive longer without food.
Fats are organic compounds that contain hydrocarbons. Lipids are examples of fats. They are part of the building block of living cells. Lipids include waxes, oils, certain vitamins and hormones. They can all be broken down to release energy.
There are two main types of fats: Saturated fats and Unsaturated fats.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. They include lard, butter, hard cheese and animals fats. They also come from full fat milk, sausages, biscuits and pastries.
Saturated fats are high in calories, which is good for the body, but also very harmful as they contain cholesterol. They are stored inside and around vital blood vessels, restricting blood flow from the heart and to the brain. Saturated fats are known to play a part in strokes and heart diseases.
Unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature, and they come in two main types— Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The difference lies in their chemical make up, and have slightly different health benefits. Monounsaturated fats come from foods like olive and canola oils, nuts and avocados.
Polyunsaturated fats also come in two types:
Omega-3 fats (from oily fish such as salmon and sardines, eggs and some meats) are known to protect people from heart diseases.
Omega-6 fats (from sunflower and sesame oils, walnuts and other nuts and sunflower seeds) are also know to reduce a persons risks of heart diseases if taken in place of saturated fats.