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Unsaturated Fat Explained

Unsaturated Fat Explained

Nutrition - Unsaturated Fat Explained & how it affects your body & fitness

How Unsaturated Affects Your Body, Health & Fitness.

Unsaturated fats are one of the three types of fats that are included in a person’s diet. While the other two types – saturated fats and trans fats are consider bad, unsaturated fats are good for health. Unsaturated fats differentiate from the other two types of fats based on the chemical structure. Unsaturated fats provide health benefits since they can reduce blood cholesterol levels and thus improve heart health.

Types of Unsaturated Fats

There are two types of unsaturated fats:

  1. Monounsaturated fats: These types of fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, avocado, canola oil, and most types of nuts. Monounsaturated fats have very rich health benefits. Consumption of these types of fats helps to reduce cholesterol levels. It reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also help reduce blood pressure and is anti-inflammatory.
  2. Polyunsaturated fats: There are two types of fats in this category, known as Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 fats are found in fish like herring, salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna. They are also found in walnuts, soybeans, flaxseeds, legumes, and grass-fed meat. Omega-3 fats reduces the risk of heart disease. It helps to reduce the risk of diabetes. Omega-6 fats are found in sunflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, and sunflower seeds. Omega-6 fats should be used to replace saturated fats thus helping in improve heart health and reduce the risk of cholesterol and blood pressure.

Why Use Unsaturated Fats?

There are many studies that have shown the benefits of unsaturated fats. These studies have concluded that using unsaturated fats helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. They can prevent death and reduce the risk of diabetes. Health organizations like the WHO have issued advisories asking people to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats.

The Mediterranean diet that is popular in the area surrounding the Mediterranean sea contains more of unsaturated fats. This diet includes Omega-3 from olive oil and fish. This has ensured people who follow this diet have lesser risks of cardiovascular disease. They also have lesser instances of diabetes and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that unsaturated fats can reduce the overall risk of diseases and improve health, in general.

See Also

It must be noted that all fats, including unsaturated fats lead to increased calories. It also causes weight gain. Hence, fats should be consumed in moderation. Fats, along with carbohydrates and proteins should be consumed as a part of a balanced diet. Fat should be restricted to 20 to 35% of the diet. Of this, not more than 7% should be saturated fat. The rest should be unsaturated fats that are healthy. Using low-fat milk and eating more of nuts are recommended. 

Benefits of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids? With Manuel Villacorta

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