Fat is a group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. Fats, also known as triglycerides, are esters of three fatty acid chains and the alcohol glycerol. “Oil” normally refers to a fat with short or unsaturated fatty acid chains that is liquid at room temperature, while “fat” may specifically refer to fats that are solids at room temperature. “Lipid” is the general term, as a lipid is not necessarily a triglyceride. Fats, like other lipids, are generally hydrophobic, and are soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water. It is a type of nutrient. We need some fat in your diet but not too much. Fats give us energy and help our body absorb vitamins. Dietary fat also plays a major role in our cholesterol levels.
Rather than adopting a low-fat diet, it’s more important to focus on consuming or eating beneficial “good” fats and avoiding harmful “bad” fats. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Choose foods with “good” unsaturated fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid “bad” trans fat.
- “Good” unsaturated fats — Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as sesame, ricebran, olive, sunflower, soy), nuts, seeds, and fish. When you cut back on foods like red meat, ghee and butter, replace them with fish, beans, nuts, and healthy oils instead of refined carbohydrates.
- “Bad” fats — Trans fats — increase disease risk, even when eaten in small quantities. Margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Foods containing trans fats are primarily in processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil and reused cooking oil. Fortunately, trans fats have been eliminated from many of these foods.
- Saturated fats, while not as harmful as trans fats, but by comparison with unsaturated fats it has negative impact on health and are best consumed in moderation. Foods containing large amounts of saturated fat include red meat, butter, cheese, and solid shortening, and lard.
Black and white sesame Sesame oil from black sesame
Ricebran oil Nuts
Good Fats are further divided into different types-
- Monounsaturated fat:Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are fatty acids that are missing one hydrogen pair on their chain. Studies show that eating foods rich in MUFAs associated with lowering LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol while at the same time increasing the production of the ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL cholesterol Which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats are found rich in vegetable oils like sesame oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, peanut, canola as well as in nuts. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature. Research also shows that MUFAs may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be helpful in type 2 diabetes.
- Polyunsaturated fat: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are missing two or more hydrogen pairs on their fatty acid chains. This is a type of fat found mostly in plant-based foods and oils They helps in lowering blood/serum cholesterol as well as lower LDL and HDL production. We can find these fats in vegetable oils like safflower, rice bran, sesame, sunflower, and soybean, as well as in fatty fish. These fats are usually liquid at room temperature PUFAs.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fattyacids are also polyunsaturated fats. Our body uses the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in the non-meat sources and converts it to omega-3s.Within the body omega-3 fatty acids are converted to DHA and EPA (docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, respectively). DHA and EPA are highly unsaturated fats that play very important roles in the vision development and brain function of infants. Omega-3s are associated with improving immunity, rheumatoid arthritis, vision, brain function and heart health. It may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels Specifically, omega-3s are linked to lowering triglyceride levels in the body and total cholesterol levels. These fatty acids are found primarily in seafood, like high fat mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, salmon, lake trout, walnuts, as well as in flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil. It is recommended that you consume omega-3 foods frequently. Consider making fish a regular part of your diet, and consume fatty fish twice per week for omega-3 benefits. Vegetarians can consume walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and
- Omega-6 fattyacids: found in vegetable oils are also PUFAs. These are also associated with reducing cardiovascular disease risk by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. However, they may also lower HDL levels. Main sources for omega-6s are vegetable oils such as rice bran oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil. nuts and some whole-grain products.
- Omega-9 fatty acids: may benefit health by helping tolower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. They may also play a role in controlling blood sugar. But the body can make these fats as it needs them we don’t need to supplement with them.