Energy, protection, beauty: the benefits and harms of fats for the human body

MOSCOW, April 2 – RIA Novosti. Fats are an important part of the human diet. What are the benefits and harms of fats for the health of women and men, what properties they have and how much you can eat, what types are dangerous, as well as how to choose the right and how much to store – in the material of RIA Novosti.

Types of fats

Fat is organic matter, one of the three macronutrients (along with proteins and carbohydrates) that provide energy for the body.

– Fat contains twice as much energy as carbohydrates and proteins. They enhance the flavor of many foods and make them more nutritious. However, unlike fiber, fat does not make you feel full, which is why people eat up faster when they eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables. After fatty food, hunger recedes only for a short time, – nutritionist Maria Krasovskaya told RIA Novosti.

Fats are: —saturated (sources – animal products, palm and coconut oils); – unsaturated (found in vegetable oils, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, algae, eggs).

The latter are divided into: -monounsaturated (include omega-3 and omega-6); – polyunsaturated (omega-9); – trans fats (the result of the processing of unsaturated fats).

Also, fats are classified by origin: animals (butter, beef, pork, lamb fat and others) and vegetable (sunflower oil, corn, olive, soy and others). Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

Properties of fats

Most metabolic processes take place with the participation of fats. They are a source of energy, protect organs from damage, warm the body. – The brain is 60% fat, so the brain cells need their constant supply. They are also needed for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and E to dissolve in the intestines and begin to work. Some types of fats are transformed into hormones, such as leptin, which controls satiety, and adiponectin, which regulates insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.

The benefits of fats

The healthiest fats are unsaturated. They are an important part of a healthy diet: they help reduce the risk of heart disease, cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats. – In moderation, such fats help avoid vitamin deficiency, improve the functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, and improve blood circulation. They are often included in the diet of people with joint pain. In addition, healthy fats support the beauty and elasticity of the skin, which needs omega-3s for hydration, the doctor explained.

Foods high in unsaturated fats: sunflower, olive and rapeseed oils, avocado, Brazilian and walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sunflowers, sesame seeds, salmon, sardines, cod, herring, soy. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

Harm of fats and contraindications

Excessive consumption of saturated fat negatively affects the human body, contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

Foods high in saturated fat: fatty meats and meat products, dairy products, confectionery, palm and coconut oils, coconut cream. – The more saturated fatty acids a fat contains, the higher its melting point, the longer it takes to digest and less absorbed … Therefore, people with gastrointestinal diseases should be careful with fatty products of animal origin, – the doctor said.

Experts from the World Health Organization believe that the maximum allowable amount of fat from total food intake is 30%. At the same time, saturated fats should be no more than 10% of this indicator, and trans fats should be less than 1%. Foods with a high content of the latter: margarines and spreads, pastries and cookies, fried donuts, chicken and French fries, convenience foods (frozen pizza, nuggets), chips, snacks.

The benefits and harms of fats for a woman's body

Fats help improve the health of the skin of the face and body, which is important for women. For example, coconut oil moisturizes the skin and smoothes fine wrinkles, prevents brittle nails, hair and eyelashes. Avocado oil is an excellent aid in the fight against obesity.

During pregnancy

– During pregnancy, due to the consumption of large amounts of animal fats, the digestive system is often overloaded, as a result of which the levels of all lipoproteins and cholesterol can increase. On the other hand, vegetable fats are very important during pregnancy, as they are the main source of vitamin E and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are necessary for building the fetal nervous system, – the doctor noted.

The specialist emphasized that pregnant women are advised to reduce their fat intake to 80 grams per day. Of these, 40-45% (this is about 35 grams) should be milk fats (butter, sour cream), 35-40% (about 30 grams) – vegetable. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

When losing weight

– It is unsaturated fats that play an important role in weight loss, helping to maintain beauty, energy and health. These lipids are essential for building new cells in the body. In addition, they are responsible for the metabolism. Up to 20% of unsaturated fats are used to ensure the work of human organs and systems, – said the doctor.

When losing weight, it is worth limiting the consumption of saturated fats – removing fatty pork, semi-finished meat products from the diet, and also excluding trans fats – products with hydrogenated oils.

The benefits and harms of fats for men's health

– To maintain the health of the prostate, preserve sexual function, protect blood vessels and the heart, the nervous system, omega-3 and omega-6 acids contained in unsaturated fats must be included in a man's diet, – said the nutritionist.

Most of all, according to the doctor, they are found in vegetable oils, fatty fish, nuts, wheat germ.

The benefits and harms of animal fats

Fish fat

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help fight depressive disorders, reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, and increase mental performance. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

Omega-3 in fish oil stabilizes the human cardiovascular system by improving heart rate variability. – Consuming fish oil can be harmful if you are hypersensitive. People who are allergic to seafood should exercise caution when including it in their diet. A large amount of the substance thins the blood, and the risk of bleeding may increase. With reduced blood clotting and taking anticoagulants, fish oil is contraindicated. It should be used with caution for cholecystitis, pancreatitis, hepatitis. During pregnancy and lactation, it is important to consult a doctor about how and whether to take fish oil at all, the doctor emphasized.

Seal fat

Seal fat is absorbed better by the human body than fish oil, and also contains special polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-3 class – eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic. They are found only in the fats of marine mammals – whales and seals. – Seal fat enhances the protective functions of the body, is effective in the prevention of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, strokes, arthritis, skin diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, – said the nutritionist.

People who have previously been diagnosed with intolerance or allergy to this product, it is better to stop using it. Also, people with an excess of calcium and vitamin D in the body, kidney stones, problems with the thyroid gland, with pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract and tuberculosis should be careful with seal fat.

It is best to consult a specialist before use.

Shark oil

On the basis of shark fat, medicines and supplements are made in the form of tablets or capsules. They include omega-3 and vitamin A, which has a beneficial effect on the immune and cardiovascular systems, skin, mucous membranes, joints, muscles, digestive system. – Despite all the benefits, the product has contraindications. It can provoke an allergic reaction in people with hypersensitivity to seafood or other substances based on these components. Taking the drug by mouth on an empty stomach can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Also, with caution, shark oil-based preparations should be used for people suffering from chronically low blood pressure. Side effects are also possible in the presence of problems with the kidneys, bladder or gall bladder, – the doctor explained.

It is important to seek medical advice in order to include shark oil in your diet. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

Bear fat

Biologically active additives are created from bear fat, which are sources of essential fatty acids for the human body. They have a wide spectrum of therapeutic action, which includes antioxidant, antitoxic, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and other types of biological activity. – Ingestion is prohibited for children under 3 years of age, as well as for pregnant women and women during lactation. A contraindication is the presence of an allergic reaction to the product, the nutritionist emphasized.

Goose fat

Goose fat includes omega-3 fatty acids, many trace elements (magnesium, zinc, sodium, selenium, copper), B vitamins. Thanks to them, the product increases the protective functions of the body and ensures the absorption of other nutrients. – However, before using goose fat, you must consult your doctor, since even natural products have a number of contraindications. For example, it cannot be taken during pregnancy and lactation, during an exacerbation of chronic liver diseases, with high cholesterol levels, as well as in patients under the age of three, the expert explained.

Beef fat

Beef fat contains vitamins A, D, E, F, saturated fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic, oleic, myristoleic, arachidonic, lauric), phosphorus, sodium, potassium. However, the product used in cooking can be harmful to the body if consumed in unlimited quantities. – Excessive consumption of such fats contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease and obesity. In addition, the product is best excluded from the diet for diseases of the digestive system, the specialist said.

Goat fat

In terms of its biological and chemical structure, goat fat is similar to human fat. It contains fatty acids, lactoenzymes, vitamins of group B, A, C, D, antioxidants, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, copper, manganese), as well as coenzyme Q10 – a substance that slows down aging. – The main rule of safety when eating fat – moderation. Violation of the dosage recommended by a specialist can lead to side effects – rash, diarrhea, deterioration of the general condition. Among the contraindications are stones in the gallbladder, liver disease, obesity, metabolic disorders, pancreatitis, pancreatic disease, the doctor explained.

Lamb fat

Lamb fat contains vitamins A, E, D, K, group B, as well as selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, copper, iron, fatty esters (sterol, phosphatide); fatty acids (stearic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic). Together they have a beneficial effect on the human body. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека The spread of the coronavirus

– It is very important not to abuse such a high-calorie product (100 grams contains 897 kilocalories) and consult your doctor about including it in the diet. It is necessary to refuse to use it in case of atherosclerosis, obesity, inflammation of the gallbladder, renal failure, liver diseases, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, – said Maria Krasovskaya.

Horse fat

– Horse fat includes polyunsaturated beneficial acids that have a positive effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system. It also contains amino acids that help lower cholesterol levels. It is important to note the high content of useful keratin in certain doses, which helps to improve the condition of the hair, the doctor said.

In this case, horse fat should be used carefully and in moderation. It is important to purchase a fresh and proven product, since horse meat, due to the presence of parasites, is a carrier of dangerous diseases that cause significant harm to the body.

Among the contraindications are pregnancy and lactation, age up to 3 years, individual intolerance, diseases of the biliary tract.

Beaver fat

– Beaver fat contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated acids, which means it helps to eliminate cholesterol, increases the elasticity of blood vessels, participates in the exchange of B vitamins, and is also a source of energy. In addition to acids, beaver fat contains vitamins B, A and E, – explained the nutritionist.

The product should not be taken by those who have pancreatic diseases or liver problems. It is worth refraining from taking it during breastfeeding.

Chicken fat

– Chicken fat contains not only saturated fatty acids, because of which it is more difficult to digest, but also includes unsaturated ones. They are necessary for cell growth, normal skin condition, cholesterol metabolism and many other processes in the body, the doctor said.

However, uncontrolled intake of fatty foods leads to metabolic disorders, dysfunction of the pancreas and liver, and also causes cholecystitis.

The benefits and harms of vegetable fats

Palm oil

Oil palm oil is rich in vitamins A, E, antioxidants, and also includes plant analogues of coenzyme Q10 – ubiquinone and plastoquinone. However, only unrefined palm oil is beneficial. Refining deprives it of important biological substances. – Almost 80% of palm oils that enter the retail trade network, as well as products with this ingredient, have been hydrogenated, resulting in the formation of trans fats – products with proven carcinogenic activity that contribute to the development of heart disease, obesity, atherosclerosis , vascular thrombosis, – the doctor explained.

Coconut fat

The presence of coconut oil in the diet reduces the likelihood of stroke and myocardial infarction, accelerates metabolism, destroys some bacteria, fungi and viruses that can cause infectious and inflammatory diseases in humans. In addition, coconut oil suppresses hunger centers in the brain, providing appetite control. It is rich in fats that are stable at high temperatures: some vitamins are destroyed, but carcinogens are not formed. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

Excessive consumption of the product can lead to the formation of excess accumulations of fat. It is also capable of causing allergic reactions, although they are rare and are due to increased sensitivity of the body.

Vegetable oils

Many vegetable oils have health benefits. They are rich in poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and some antioxidants that protect the body against many diseases, including cancer. — Olive, coconut, pumpkin, milk thistle and tea tree oils are considered beneficial oils. Even sunflower seeds, about which a lot of bad things have been written, are beneficial when used with cold dishes and salads, ”the nutritionist said.

Also, according to the doctor, it is best to use a mix of several oils in the diet. For example, sunflower and olive, sunflower and rapeseed or corn. The blended oils provide sufficient levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and most importantly, their correct ratio.

In order to avoid negative reactions from the body, it is recommended to consume about 30 grams of unrefined vegetable oil per day. This is about 1.5 tablespoons.

Application in medicine

In medicine, fats are used as medicines, as suppositories and ointment bases, as solvents for medicines and extractants. They are suitable for both internal and external use. – When taken internally, fatty oils have a laxative, anti-sclerotic, antirachitic and hepatoprotective (regenerating the liver at the cellular level. – Ed. Note) effect. When applied externally, vegetable oils, animal and fish oils promote tissue regeneration and healing of the wound surface, including ulcers, – said Maria Krasovskaya.

Fats in cooking

In cooking, fats are used as: —anti-adhesion agent, which reduces the adhesion of foods to the heating surface during frying; —solvents of carotenes and aromatic substances; —components of recipes for a number of sauces; —structures for shortbread, puff pastry.

It is important to remember that when heated, fats and oils begin to release harmful substances. Most suitable for frying and stewing: refined coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, canola, as well as lard, duck and beef fats. Энергия, защита, красота: польза и вред жиров для организма человека

How to choose

The consistency of high-quality animal fat is uniform, without impurities. When choosing, pay attention to the expiration date, whether there are any foreign components in the composition (such as dyes, preservatives, flavors). Preference should be given to products made in accordance with GOST, as there should be an inscription on the label.

Check the label when choosing a vegetable oil. It says from which raw material the product was obtained, the degree of its purification. Depending on the type of vegetable oil, its color should be from light yellow (for refined) to brownish (for unrefined), it should be transparent. Oil that has not gone through the cleaning process can precipitate over time. Therefore, its presence indicates long-term storage.

How and how much to store

Fats – vegetable and animal – after opening the package must be stored in the refrigerator.

The shelf life of most vegetable oils and fats is 12-24 months. For a longer time, the oil is stored only with the addition of artificial antioxidants.

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