Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. Generally, food is of animal, plant or bacterial origin, and generally contains necessary nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other macro-nutrients. The body needs food to survive, but unlike the fuel that it uses, food does not run out, only gets stored. Just like our bodies do not store food for a long time, neither do we eat all the food we eat. The amount of food available to the body usually varies depending on the amount of calories ingested.
Fatty acids are the main component of food, but they are also made up of smaller compounds called polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs). Fats provide the body with an energy source, but they also are an important part of a healthy diet. Although fats are vital to the health of the body, excessive intake can cause excessive weight gain and related health problems, so it is important to watch the amount of fat one eats. The following article will discuss the major types of fat and how they affect the body.
The majority of fats are made up of monounsaturated fatty acids, which occur naturally in some foods and can be converted into other types of fat when dietary fiber is added. Common dietary fiber sources are nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Examples of plants with good amounts of dietary fiber are beans, lentils, nuts, spinach, broccoli, and oatmeal. A study found that adding dietary fiber to the diet was highly beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease.
Saturated and trans fats are both created by cooking. Trans fats are commonly found in commercial foods such as cookies, candy, and fast food. Saturated fats are found in fried foods and oils. The consumption of foods high in saturated fat has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. Trans fatty acids are associated with cancers of the liver, kidney, pancreas, heart, and arteries.
Unsaturated fatty acids are essential to health. These include both polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fatty acids. A study found that consuming foods high in unsaturated fatty acids was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and a decreased risk of certain cancers. Foods high in unsaturated fatty acids include salmon, trout, nuts, avocado, canola oil, peanuts, walnuts, and soybeans. Foods high in polyunsaturated fatty acids are nuts, seeds, berries, and various vegetable oils.
The types of fat you eat play a role in maintaining your health. Eating a balance of all of the different types of fat will help you maintain a healthy weight. If you’re looking to lose weight, then reducing your intake of fat is important. Many foods rich in fat are high in calories and will increase your calorie intake. This makes it harder for you to lose weight on a long term basis.