A Guide to Trans, Saturated and Unsaturated Fats

There are a huge number of misconceptions about unsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats. Although each of these three items is a particular type of fat, and they are all related in some way or another, there are very different consequences for your health depending upon which of these fats you consume.

Generally, human beings need a small amount of fat in their diet each day in order to maintain proper bodily functions and systems. This equivalent is about 1 teaspoon of fat or roughly 15 grams. However, most people in the western world eat several times that amount of fat each day. While eating fat will not necessarily cause you to become fat, it may lead to a number of other problems, including those related to cholesterol, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, stroke and much more. Read on for a brief guide to the difference between trans, saturated and unsaturated fats.

Saturated Fats

One of the worst types of fat to eat is saturated fat. Saturated fats are those that are derived from animal products. They are generally solid at room temperature, although they can be melted down with a small amount of heat and are oftentimes used for cooking and other tasks. These fats are more likely than certain other types to collect in your arteries, thereby limiting your bloodflow and promoting heart attack risk, blood clots and a host of other problems. Saturated fats are found in butter, lard, red meat, chicken and many other meat products.

Unsaturated Fats

Unsaturated fats are split into two different categories. These are polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. These two types of unsaturated fats can be further split up into omega fatty acids and other types of fat as well. Generally speaking, unsaturated fats typically come from plant sources and from fish and certain other types of meat. These fats are more often than not liquid at room temperature. They help to lower your cholesterol levels and do wonders to boost the levels of good cholesterol in your blood.

As often as possible, it’s recommended that you substitute out saturated fats for unsaturated ones. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and other related foods will tend to be best in terms of providing unsaturated fats to you. Unsaturated fat sources include nuts, cooking oils based on plants and fish.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are derived from plant sources, but contain a number of different ingredients and processes that have turned them into saturated fats. French fries, peanut butter and other related types of food are all based on vegtetable sources but contain trans fats. Trans fats are essentially the same as saturated fats and should generally be avoided as much as possible.

For more information about the different types of fat and how they can affect you, speak with a doctor. Be sure to check on food labels for more information about fats.

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