Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are the fat molecules which are saturated with hydrogen molecules having no double bonds between the carbon molecules. Further at room temperature saturated fats are solid.

Saturated fats and health

Moreover when foods replaced by saturated fat foods with healthier options it can improve the lipid profiles. Also lower the blood cholesterol levels.

Foods containing saturated fat

Naturally, foods contain saturated fats. Majority of foods come from animal sources which includes dairy products as well as meat. 

Foods containing saturated fat examples:

  • Firstly, pork,
  • Second, poultry (with skin),
  • Lamb,
  • Fatty beef,
Beef slice
Fatty beef slice sprinkled with ground peppercorns
  • Butter,
  • Cream and lard,
  • Dairy products made from milk and
  • Cheese¬†

Furthermore in addition to this, many fried foods and baked goods can contain an increased level of saturated fats. Lastly plant-based oils like coconut oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil do not contain cholesterol but they do contain saturated fats.

Alternatives that can replace foods containing saturated fats

  • Firstly, vegetables, fruits,
alternate foods
Alternative foods that can compensate for saturated fat
  • Nuts, fish, poultry,
  • Dairy products (low-fat),
  • Whole grains and
  • Lastly while limiting beverages, sugary foods and red meat.¬†

Replace polyunsaturated fats or/and monounsaturated fat by foods which have high saturated fats. Moreover this replacing means to eat food made of liquid vegetable oil and not by tropical oils. It includes eating nuts and fish. One can try replacing meat with legumes or beans. 

Saturated fats: Benefits and Risks

Benefits

  1. Cardiovascular (CVS) Health: Saturated fats have many benefits on the circulatory system and heart. Cholesterol levels regulated by the help of stearic acid and lauric acid present in saturated fats. In addition to this, a cardiovascular disease caused by a well-known risk factor lipoprotein levels reduced by dietary saturated fats. 
  2. Immune Health: The ability of the white blood cells to destroy or recognize foreign invaders such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. Furthermore it is impaired due to insufficient saturated fats in the body.  
  3. Bone health: Incorporation of calcium into bone is necessary and that provided by saturated fat. Boney bones caused without saturated fat. In addition to this risk of injury and degeneration caused because of poor bone density.
  4. Brain Health: The majority of the brain is cholesterol and fat. The vast majority of that is saturated fat. If a low diet of saturated fat followed then the brain lacks in having raw material.  Consequently raw materials are essential for the healthy, regeneration and growth of the brain.
  5. Nervous System Health: Saturated fat can be an ‚Äúinsulation coat‚ÄĚ on your nervous system. Lack of insulation coat becomes more susceptible to internal and external stress. Some saturated fat can themselves serve as singling messengers. Poor communication caused between the body cells which results in severe catastrophic problems if there is a low saturated fat diet.

Risks

  1. Firstly, DNA damage and increases activities of free radical.
  2. Secondly it causes asthma symptoms and allergies from faulty lung surfactant-generated by saturated fat.
  3. Increases LDL cholesterol (not-so-good) and decreases HDL cholesterol (good) levels.
  4. Furthermore, liver function depressed leading to potential insulin resistance and poor insulin breakdown. 
  5. Lastly, it can cause potential auto-immune responses and inflammation. 

Saturated Fat for a Healthy Diet

For Infants

  • Exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months (not even water).
  • Secondly, breastfeeding should be started after delivery within an hour and colostrum should not be discarded.
  • Junk foods are avoided.
  • Hygienic practices followed for infants while feeding or preparing complementary foods.
  • Also up to 2 years along with with breastfeeding continue complementary nutrient-rich foods.
  • Further, feed complementary nutrient-rich and home-made low-cost caloric foods.
  • As infants and children are prone to infection easily it is very essential to read the nutrition label on children‚Äôs foods.¬†
  • After six months of age, breastfeeding is insufficient. In addition to this complimentary nutrition, foods should be provided.¬†

For Adults

  • Vegetable, fruits, whole grains (example: brown rice, oats, wheat, millet, unprocessed maize)as well as nuts and legumes (example: beans, lentils).
  • Likewise, use iodized salt and use approximately or equivalent 1 teaspoon of salt (5 g of salt).¬†
  • Industrial trans fats are not included as a part of a healthy food diet. Example: fast food, processed food, snack food, spreads, margarine, frozen pizza, pies, fried food and cookies. Unsaturated fats (example: olive oils, canola, nuts, avocado, sunflower and found in fish) are mostly preferable to saturated fats. Example: cheese, lard, ghee, coconut oil and palm, butter and found in fatty meat.¬†
  • Vegetables and fruits 400 grams should be at least consumed a day. Hence starchy roots, potatoes, cassava and sweet potatoes are not classified as vegetable and fruits.¬†

For Elderly People

  • Foods must match with exercise or physical activity.¬†
  • Consume nutrient-rich foods.
  • To avoid dehydration an adequate quantity of water intake is essential.¬†
  • Avoid spicy foods, salty and fried.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption as well as tobacco products (paan masala, zarda, khaini), chewing tobacco and smoking.
  • Walk or exercise regularly.¬†
  • Adopt techniques for stress management (meditation and yoga)
  • Self-medication should be avoided.
  • Lastly regular checkups are needed. Regularly check blood pressure, lipids and blood sugar.¬†

Reference

nhp.gov.in/healthlyliving/healthy-diet

medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000838.htm

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