Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

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Do you know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids?

We eat two kinds of fat during our diet. These are called saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. In everyday language, saturated fatty acids are known as ‘bad’ fats, while unsaturated fatty acids are called ‘good’ fats. Our body needs fat to work properly to allow the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

So what is called good and bad fatty acid? What should you consume and what should you avoid?

Excessive amounts of saturated fats cause weight gain, increase cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. They can be found in: cheese, sour cream, cakes, biscuits, pies, animal fats: sausages, bacon, lard, butter.

By contrast, the consumption of unsaturated, “good” fats can reduce the harmful cholesterol effect of saturated fatty acids. These prevent cardiovascular disease, improve the immune system and support the health of our brain and eyes. The intake of the appropriate omega-3 fatty acid helps the proper growth of the fetus and the development of cognitive functions during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The following foods are recommended for consumption:

  • vegetable oils: olive oil, sesame oil
  • fish: salmon, sardine, mackerel
  • nuts
  • oilseeds
  • avocados
  • soy

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