Saturated and Unsaturated fatty Acids

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Fats, or lipids, are part of the human diet since always. They are also essential to the health: they provide energy, contribute to the regulation of body temperature, as well as hormone synthesis and fertility, provide essential fatty acids, allow the absorption Vitamins A, D, E and K, provide a sense of satiety, enhance the flavor and texture of foods, are adding luster to the complexion and hair, etc.

However, there are fats and fat. The two main types of fat found in foods. Note that no food containing fat contain a single class of fatty acids: they are all present, but it is their proportions vary widely.


Unsaturated fatty acids

These fats are divided into two groups: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The main source of monounsaturated fatty acids, also called omega-9, is olive oil. Nuts, peanuts and avocado also contain good amounts. They are liquid at room temperature and withstand high heat: so we can use them for cooking. Considered “good fats”, monounsaturated fats have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function recognized. See our page on omega-9 fatty acids for more information.

The main sources of polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils. These fats are liquid at room temperature and are sensitive to oxidation. Those of omega-3 are the most fragile and should not be heated: Flax seeds and oil which pulls are especially rich in omega-3. Walnuts, hemp seeds and oil drawn from them also contain, but to a lesser extent.

Polyunsaturated fatty omega-6 (soybean oil, corn, sunflower) are less fragile than omega-3, but not suitable for high temperature cooking. It is best to use them for cooking in the oven where the heat is less intense.

Polyunsaturated fats are good fats because they protect cardiovascular function, but in the Western diet, the omega-6 / omega-3 is much too high. This excess of omega-6 prevents the optimal use of omega-3 in the body because they are competing. Consult the form of essential fatty acids to learn more about it.

Saturated fatty acids

They come from the animal kingdom (butter, cream, lard or pork fat, tallow or beef fat, goose fat, duck, etc.) or vegetable (coconut oil, palm oil), saturated fats are in solid form at room temperature. They are generally less fragile than unsaturated fatty acids, more tolerant of heat and are less likely to go rancid. Although they have a bad reputation because it combines the formation of blood cholesterol, they still bring their contribution to the human diet since the dawn of time. Although it should avoid over-consume, saturated fats have their place in the human diet

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