What Are Saturated and Unsaturated Fats?

Dietary Fat Chart

While standing in a checkout line at your supermarket, you casually look at your watch. Mortified, you realize the short, shopping trip you envisioned has turned into an hour-long ordeal. Because you’re dieting, you determinedly studied the nutrition labels of the foods in your shopping cart. Unfortunately, trying to decipher the nutrition labels was a painstaking process. If you can relate to this scenario, you might struggle to understand all of the pertinent information on nutrition labels. For instance, you may desperately want to know what saturated and unsaturated fats really are.

Fats Play an Essential Role

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may think avoiding all types of fat is smart. Because it supports numerous bodily functions, consuming a certain amount of fat is vital to your health. For example, some vitamins can’t be dissolved, and utilized by your body, unless they’re accompanied with fat. Unfortunately, fat is calorie dense. Therefore, consuming too much of it can lead to weight gain. Even worse, saturated fat is thought to increase your risk for heart disease.

 Saturated Fats

Saturated fat is mostly found in foods deriving from animals such as:

  • Poultry
  • Red-meat
  • Full-fat, dairy products

Besides increasing your LDL, bad, cholesterol numbers, consuming foods packed with saturated fat is believed to raise your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Unsaturated Fats

Unlike saturated fat, unsaturated fat is thought to be beneficial to your health. Types of unsaturated fats include:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Good Fats for Improved Health

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in nuts, olive oil, safflower oil, corn oil, and peanut oil. While monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are considered heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids often receive special accolades. The omega-3 fatty acids prevalent in certain types of fish are believed to decrease your risk of succumbing to coronary heart disease. Salmon is a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other foods containing this healthy substance include:

  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil

While unsaturated fats may boost your health, you should eat them in moderation. Like saturated fat, they are high in calories. If you would like to learn how to incorporate more unsaturated fats into your diet, consider scheduling a free consultation with a representative at a Metabolic Research Center near you.


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