Why is saturated fat bad?

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Why is saturated fat bad?

Fats are essential to maintain the health of humans. Fats aid in nerve transmission, absorption of nutrients, and to maintain integrity of cell membrane and so on. If the fats are consumed in large quantities they can enhance the normal healthy body weight. This increase in weight of the body may lead to heart diseases and certain kinds of cancers. Some types of fats improve our health while some are harmful to our body and enhance the heart risks. The remedy for reducing the bad fats in our body is to replace them with good fats.

Good fats are monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) while the bad fats are saturated fats and Trans fats. The functions of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are to decrease the total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). MUFAs also increase the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). These are available in peanuts, walnuts, olive oil, almonds and so on. This helps in weight loss. Omega 3 fatty acids are classified under PUFAs. Corn, safflower and sunflower oils, soy and so on are rich in PUFAs.

Saturated fats increase the total blood cholesterol as well as the LDL cholesterol. These types of fats are mostly available in meat, dairy products, eggs and sea foods. Coconut oil and Palm oil are rich in saturated fats. Trans-fats are available in hydrogenated liquid oils. Commercially packed foods and fast foods are rich in Trans-fats.

Eating too much of saturated fats will enhance the blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol increases the heart attack risks, heart stroke and atherosclerosis. The fats that we take in through the diet will be converted to cholesterol in the liver. The human body requires very small quantities of fats for its maintenance. The unsaturated fats are good for human health than the saturated fats as the latter type will increase the cholesterol levels which in turn increase the health risk.

Some of the foods that include saturated fats are cheese, coconut oil, cakes, pastries, sweets, chocolates, meat, milk products and butter and so on. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and hence are harmful to our health.

Author: Hari M

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