Our body needs three macronutrients and numerous micronutrients to run like a well-oiled machine. One of those three macronutrients is fat. And the other two are obviously protein and carbohydrates. There are still rumour around many people that consuming fat is not healthy for our body but that is not entirely true. It really depends on the quantity and mainly the type of fat you are consuming. Without further ado, let’s dive deep into the various types of fats, which you should consider consuming and which you should avoid to maintain sound health. We will try our best to simplify this topic so that everyone can understand easily.
Also Read: 10 Foods Highest In Fat!
Types of Fats: Not As Simple As It Sounds!
Just like proteins are actually some kinds of acids called amino acids, fats are the same. They are simply called fatty acids. The types of fats or fatty acids are not that hard to remember. The reason is: fat can primarily be divided into three types. Number one is saturated fat or Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA), number two is unsaturated fat or Unsaturated Fatty Acids (UFA) and lastly, number three is trans fat or Trans Fatty Acids (TFA).
If we divide the UFA or unsaturated fat then we get to know that unsaturated fat can be separated into two more types. One is monounsatured fat or Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) and another one is polyunsaturated fat or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA). Polyunsaturated fat can further be divided into two fatty acids which are Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Therefore, here we go. These are the types of fats in detail that you need to know.
What are the Good or Healthy Fats? And What are the Bad Ones?
So, you have now learnt all the various types of fats but from all of them, you need to identify what are the healthy fats that you need to include in your diet and what are the unhealthy ones that you should avoid to stay healthy. Now, how do you identify what are the good fats or healthy fats and what are the bad or unhealthy ones? Don’t worry that’s why we are here. And the short answer is, among the three primary types of fats, only unsaturated fat is the healthy or good fat. The other two which are saturated fat and trans fat – both are unhealthy.
Unsaturated Fats/Unsaturated Fatty Acids (UFAs) -The Good Fat?
Let’s talk about unsaturated fat first. So, it is the only healthy fat among all the primary types of fats, right? Yes and as we discussed above, it has two main types. PUFA and MUFA. Between these two, PUFA is considered slightly better and healthier. But again, if we divide PUFA, we will get two primary types of PUFA which are Omega-6 and Omega-3. And again, if we compare these two, Omega-3 stands out to be the healthier and better type of fat than Omega-6. That means, Omega-3 is the best and healthiest among all the types of fats available for us! Obviously that doesn’t mean that other types of unsaturated fats are unhealthy. As we have said, all of them are healthy but Omega-3 is just healthier from all of them.
Our body can’t produce these essential fatty acids like Omega-6 and Omega-3 so we must get them from food for our benefits. People have realised how essential Omega-3 is for improving our overall health. Thus, it is no wonder why in the recent years, people are becoming more & more aware about consuming foods rich in Omega-3 and Omega-3 supplements. Fatty fishes, various seeds and nuts, sea-foods are generally some of the good sources of healthy unsaturated fats but if you want to know in detail about what are the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids then read this article below.
Benefits of Unsaturated Fats
- Healthy fats keep you warm and energetic.
- Omega-3 is a must if you are into gym and muscle building because Omega-3 helps to reduce the inflammation of the muscles that they get after workout. In this way, Omega-3 contribute immensely into muscle recovery which is an essential aspect of muscle building. Proper recovery makes the muscles grow excellently!
- Healthy fats like MUFA and PUFA help our body to absorb Vitamin A, D, E and K from the foods we eat. Our body can’t absorb these Vitamins by itself so it needs the help of the good unsaturated fats.
- Healthy fats also helps to control your hormonal imbalances inside the body.
- Good or healthy unsaturated fats protect your body from cardiovascular diseases as well as diabetes and cholesterol. These essential fats help your body to lower the bad cholesterol that is harmful for our body.
Saturated Fat and Trans Fat – The Bad Fats?!
Till now, we got to know that only unsaturated fat is healthy and both saturated and trans fats are unhealthy. But why is that? Which type of fats is more unhealthier between these two?
Let’s start with saturated fat first. Saturated fat is mainly found in red meats, dairy products, processed high-carbohydrate foods like white bread, white rice l, doughnuts etc. In dairy products like milk, tofu, cheese, yogurt, both saturated and unsaturated fats are available but in red meat and other items, you can mostly find saturated fats there. The reason why saturated fat is considered unhealthy is mostly because you can’t digest this fat easily so consuming it will store in your body as a body fat and more body fat percentage means more chances of diseases.
For the trans fat, the story is even more horrifying. Why? Because trans fat is the unhealthiest type of fat that can ruin your health if you are consuming high trans fat in a daily basis. Trans fat is mainly found in junk foods and processed foods like burgers, pizzas, cakes, French fries, chips, ice-creams, pastries etc. And these foods along with trans fat will help you destroy your health completely. How? Let’s know how!
Harmful Effects of Unhealthy Fats
- Consuming trans fats can easily store fats under your skin cells and in the abdomen area.
- Trans fat also triggers various types of diseases such as diabetes, chronic heart related diseases, and even cancer!
- Trans fat and saturated fat trigger the bad cholesterol in your body.
- These two bad fats also ruin the hormonal control of your body. Like the more you eat those junk foods filled with these bad fats, the more your hunger hormone will trigger and it will send signal to your mind for more junk foods even if you don’t need. This will make you addicted to those bad foods and ultimately ruin your health. The false appetite is what the hunger hormone creates to make you feel hungry even if you really are not. All because of consuming these unhealthy fats.
In The Bottom Line
Therefore, this is it. Hopefully, you have got all your answers related to types of fats, which are the good ones and which are the bad ones. Now, all you need to do is to check how much fat your body needs per day according to your gender, age, height, weight and goals then limit your fat intake. Try to avoid junk foods packed with trans fat and saturated fats as much as you can. Foods like red meats and dairy products are still not that unhealthy considering the other benefits they give so you can eat them in a small or moderate amount. Saturated fat in a small amount is still not that unhealthy until you consume too much and end up being obese. Still, if you want a long and healthy life, you need to eat proper amount of good unsaturated fats especially Omega-3 daily and avoid all other unhealthy fats. If you have found this article about types of fats helpful enough, don’t forget to express your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.