How many types of fats are there and which ones are healthy?

Fats, that dreaded ingredient or compound that just saying it seems to give us kilocalories. Although we do not believe it, some types of fats are essential and necessary for our body. In fact, fat is a nutrient. In addition to providing us with large amounts of energy, they perform other essential functions for our organs and joints.

To get you out of doubt, we are going to analyze the different types of fats. At least you will know which of them you should avoid.

Saturated fats

These fats are solid at room temperature. We will surely see them in products of animal origin. Although they are also hidden in some dairy products, many processed foods or industrial pastries are rich in these types of saturated fats. In addition, oils such as coconut or palm oil are rich in this type of lipid.

grasas saturadas

We must know that these fats are not very healthy. We could say that they increase cholesterol, with the consequent risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

In a healthy diet, there should be no room for these types of foods. But a very low consumption does not generate any problem.

Types of unsaturated fats

Within this group, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are included. Unlike the previous ones, these fats are liquid at room temperature.

They are mostly derived from vegetable oils and are classified as “good” fats.

Monounsaturated fats

These monounsaturated fats can lower LDL cholesterol and maintain HDL cholesterol, although to be effective, we must greatly reduce fat intake. Many health professionals say that these fats could reduce a person’s risk of developing heart- related diseases.

grasas saludables

These types of fats are what we find in our valuable olive oil, or the olives themselves. They are also present in walnuts, peanut butter or avocados.

Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are good for our health, especially those from fish, known as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids protect our heart, our arteries and reduce “bad” cholesterol.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can also help reduce symptoms experienced by people with arthritis, general joint problems, and some skin conditions.

Oily fish, soy or sunflower oil are some of the main sources of these fatty acids. Nuts, seeds in general, and eggs also provide a good amount of omega-3s.

The other type of polyunsaturated fats are omega-6 fatty acids. These are mainly found in vegetable oils and processed foods. An excessive intake of omega-6 has great side effects, so they should be avoided.

Trans fat

These are indeed an enemy to our health , since trans fats are completely synthetic. They do not come from animal or vegetable origin, but rather from the transformation of these oils into other somewhat more solid products. Generally by hydrogenation processes. For this reason they are known as hydrogenated fats.

Unlike other oils, these fats are not essential for our life and it has been shown that they do not provide any nutrients.

The consumption of trans fats increases the level of LDL cholesterol and lowers the levels of HDL cholesterol; this, in turn, increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke approximately 3 times more than other fats.

They provide food with a large amount of flavor, which is why they are increasingly used in the food industry. They also have a much lower price than quality oils.

Experts say that the trans fats in partially hydrogenated oils are worse for your health than natural oils.

Where are trans fats found?

Fried foods, such as potato chips, donuts, cakes, cookies, pizza dough, cookies, stick margarines, shortenings, packaged foods, fast foods, and many other baked goods.

grasas trans

If the nutrition labeling includes partially hydrogenated oils, it means that the foods have trans fats.

In conclusion, we can say that not all fats or oils are the same. Staying informed and reading labels can help people make good dietary choices and replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats.