All natural fats and oils are a combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
Current scientific evidence indicates that dietary fat plays an important role in your weight loss program.
Fat provides you energy. In fact, it is the most energy dense of all the macronutrients. Fat is needed for your body to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell and the sheaths surrounding nerves.
All fats typically provide the same amount of energy, with 1g providing 9 calories, while carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories per gram.
Both forms of unsaturated fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) may help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in the body.
Unsaturated fats are in foods that contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. And there are good fats and bad fats.
Good dietary fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad fats include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats fall in the middle between the good and the bad.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acid
It’s a dietary fat found in olive oil, groundnut oil, avocados and certain nuts. It can help you in weight loss intervention, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation. Modern research has shown that monounsaturated fats have a number of health benefits.
A diet with moderate to high quantities of monounsaturated fats can help you in weight loss programs, provided you don’t eat more calories than you can burn.
According to a research paper published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information, diet high in monounsaturated fats (MUFA) largely promoted benefits on weight loss in women with obesity.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are a type of fat in certain foods. They are important for nerve function, blood clotting, brain health and muscle strength.
And, omega-3 fatty acids — which are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid — are called essential fats, meaning the body can’t produce them on its own but must get them from food high in Omega-3, which include fish, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy vegetables.
Canola oil, though higher in monounsaturated fat, is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acid.
Foods containing saturated fatty acids include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil etc.
A diet rich in saturated fats may increase your total cholesterol, particularly the harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.
A recent review of 72 studies published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine by an international group led by a team at the UK’s University of Cambridge found no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
The review also showed that monounsaturated fats like those in olive oil, nuts and avocados don’t protect against heart disease.
Trans fat is also a type of dietary fat, but it is very bad for your health. Period. It’s a form of unsaturated fat, which can be defined as either natural or artificial.
Naturally occurring trans fats can be found in beef, pork, lamb, butter, and milk. Consumed in moderation, these trans fats do not seem to be as harmful as their manmade counterparts, according to a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It also increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are formed by an industrial process which adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.
Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and have a longer shelf life. They also give foods a desirable taste and texture.
Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers.
According to a paper published in the National Library of Medicine, research has proved the direct connection of trans fatty acids with cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, shortening of pregnancy period, risks of preeclampsia, disorders of nervous system and vision in infants, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity and allergy.
Which fat is best for your weight loss
Well, it depends on what your genetic predisposition indicates and your DNA markers (genetic markers) point to. Your weight loss program depends largely on your genes and lifestyle rather than on a random choice of fatty acids!
For example, you may think that polyunsaturated fatty acids might help you in losing your belly fat and reduce your waistline, but your genetic markers might point to a certain high intake of saturated fatty acids (an all-meat diet, for example), which, in turn, positively impact your food choices that help you most in your weight loss program and improve your overall health.
Clearly, your gene knows best which fat helps you most in your weight loss program and your lifestyle in general. That’s why a high fat diet is not always bad for your health, and may even help you shed a few pounds!
Genetic diversity causes individuals to have different characteristics. A DNA-based dietary recommendation takes into account this diversity into consideration, while helping you towards making your informed health decisions.
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