Fats are essential nutrients that provide energy to the body and help in the balancing of hormones. They help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K, and are critical for building cell membranes. They are considered vital for healthy body functioning and play a major role in various body processes. However, as fats are high in energy, the best bariatric surgeons in India claim that they also contribute to weight gain.
Fats are broadly classified into 3 types, i.e. saturated fats, unsaturated fats and Trans-fat.
- Saturated Fat
Saturated fats contain a high proportion of fatty acid molecules. Since they are solid at room temperatures, they are also known as solid fats. According to the top obesity surgeons in India, excessive consumption of saturated fats can lead to weight gain while increasing a person’s risk of developing heart diseases and high blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are mainly found in products like animal foods (pork, fish, chicken, etc.), dairy products (cheese, butter, cream) and plant foods (coconut, coconut oil, palm oil).
- Unsaturated Fat
Unsaturated fats are an integral part of a healthy diet as they aid in reducing the risk of heart diseases and lowering down the cholesterol levels. They are liquid at room temperatures and play a significant role in improving blood cholesterol levels, easing inflammation and stabilizing heart rhythms. They are further classified into two types.
- Polyunsaturated Fat
Polyunsaturated fats include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats that provide various health benefits. While Omega-3 helps in reducing inflammation and supporting healthy hormone levels, Omega-6 plays a vital role in supporting healthy brain and muscle functioning. Polyunsaturated fats are mainly found in vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and canola oil. Furthermore, foods including fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, etc. are rich sources of polyunsaturated fats.
- Monounsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated fats protect the heart and support insulin sensitivity. They promote weight loss and provide the body with adequate energy. According to the top bariatric surgeons in India, a diet rich in monounsaturated fats helps in lowering down the bad (LDL) cholesterol while keeping the levels of the good (HDL) cholesterol high. Foods including avocados, cashews and almonds are all great sources of monounsaturated fats.
Trans-fatty acids, or commonly known as Trans-fats, are generally regarded as the worst type of fats that people can consume. These fats are a by-product of a process known as hydrogenation that converts unsaturated fats into unhealthy solid saturated fats. According to the top bariatric surgeons in Delhi, consuming trans-fats increases the levels of bad cholesterol while decreasing the levels of good ones. It may further increase the risk factors associated with heart diseases.
Fats are one of the most important essential nutrients. However, it is important to understand the science behind these fats in order to consume them in the right quantities to lead a healthy and active life.