The Truth about Saturated Fats: why they’re detrimental for healthy diet

Fats is an important part of human diet. It plays an essential role in development of human health. It is a vitally important macronutrient which is required for development for brain, body’s chemical functions etc. In this article we will discuss the various truths and facts about saturated fats and will explore the disastrous and detrimental effects on human health. There are three main categories of fats made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
These includes:

  1. Saturated fats
  2. Unsaturated fats
  3. Trans fats
    Go here to know more about the types of fat.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fat is a type of fats which is moslty consisted of fatty acids. In saturated fat, there is single bond betwee carbon atoms and is completely hydrogenated. Saturated fats have a solid or semi solid consistensy because of their structure which gives them a straight shape and allows them to pack securely at room temperature.

Composition of Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are primarily constituted of hydrogen molecules only single bonds between carbon molecules. This constitution in carbon carbon single bonds results in saturated fats being solid at room temperature. On the other hand, the unsaturated fats like olive oils are liquid at room temperature. There are various types of saturated fats depending on their carbon chain length. These includes short-, medium-, long-, and very long chain fatty acids. They all have different effects on human health according to their composition.

Foods high in Saturated fats

Following foods have saturated fat:

Red meat

Meat from lamb, beef and pork are high in saturated fats. They have a high concentration of 4.5 grams of saturated per 100 gram of serving.

Butter

Butter is highly composed with saturated fats. Saturated fat makes up about 50% of the total fat content in butter. While taking Butter it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes due to its high concentration in saturated fat.

Coconut and Palm Oil

Coconut oil and palm oil are both plant-based oils that are high in saturated fats. Coconut oil is predominantly composed of saturated fats containing almost 82 to
92% of its total fat content being saturated fat. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which id medium chain fatty acid. Palm oil contains comparatively less saturated fats than coconut oil with almost concentration of 50%. It is mixture of both saturated and unsaturated fats. The saturated fats in palm oil primarily consist of palmitic acid, which is a long-chain fatty-acids.

Bakery Goods

Bakery goods can contain adequate amounts of saturated fats due to the ingredients used in their preparation. Several bakery items like butter, cakes, chocolates, cookies and bread contain varying amount of saturated fats in their composition. These items are high in healthy unsaturated fats but also contain unsaturated fats.

Sea Foods

Seafood contains varying amounts of saturated fats depending on the type of seafood. Various kinds of fishes are high in healthy unsaturated fats, including both
monosaturated and polysaturated fats but they also contain significant amount saturated fat. Example of fatty fish include salmon, mackeral, trout and sardines. These all contain a little amount of saturated fats. Here you can find out more about the sources of saturated fats.

Why saturated fats are unhealthy

Saturated fats are natural component of several foods. Consuming them in excess have detrimental effects on health, significantly on heart health, metabolic functions, inflammation, weight issues, and the risk of chronic diseases.

Effects on cardiovascular health

The most well-known consequence of consuming too much saturated fat is its association with heart disease and stroke, among other cardiovascular ailments. LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, can be elevated in the blood by saturated fats. An increased risk of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque accumulates in the arteries and narrows them, limiting blood flow, is linked to high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Strokes and heart attacks may result from this.

Inflammatory Responses

Due to saturated fats our body may show inflammation, which is believed to play a role in the development of various chronic diseases, including heart diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Impacts of Saturated Fats on Energy Balance

Saturated fats have a content of energy. They are high calorie dense providing huge amount of energy per gram. Therefore intaking saturated fats in high amount can easily lead to obesity, and disturb energy balance. Saturated fats affect the body’s regulation of hunger and satiety hormones. These hormones play a fundamental role in developing fullness and hunger of the brain. Consuming diets high in saturated fats can interfere these signaling pathways which may lead to overeating and difficulties in maintaining energy balance.

While all types of dietary fats are calorie-dense, meaning they provide a high number of calories per gram, saturated fats may be particularly problematic when it comes to weight management. Diets high in saturated fats increases the risk of weight gain and obesity, which are risk factors for numerous chronic diseases.

Brain Health Implications of High Saturated Fat Diets

Saturated fat consumption in excess negatively affects brain function. A high-saturated-fat diet raises the risk of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and may impair cognitive abilities. The structure and functioning of the brain have been directly related to high consumption of saturated fats. Oxidative stress can be exacerbated by saturated fats. In addition to harming brain tissue, oxidative stress plays a role in neurodegenerative illnesses.

Negative effects on Cholesterol level

Human body requires healthy fat to function. For this an optimal level of cholesterol is beneficial. High density lipoprotein or good cholesterol have cholesterol back to the liver to flush it out of the body. LDL, or bad cholesterol can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow, leading them to the heart diseases. If a person takes more saturated fat their LDL cholesterol level increases, so health professionals advise to limiting the consumption of saturated fats.

Saturated Fats and Risk of Cancer

High intake of saturated fats have been associated with certain types of cancer. Inflammation, insulin resistance and alteration of harmone level due to excessive intake of saturated fats can promote cancer in multiple ways. Additionally, Saturated fats leads to obesity which is a prime factor in building of cancer.

The truth is that fats are necessary for a number of fundamental bodily functions that are critical to general health and wellbeing. They also serve a significant role in the human body. It’s critical to maintain regulated fat consumption, especially with regard to saturated fats. Saturated fats can disrupt energy balances, raise cholesterol, cause inflammation, raise the risk of cognitive disorders, and cause cardiovascular diseases. A healthy life and general well-being are encouraged by eating a balanced diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.