Fats

Fat is not an enemy, but an ally and an essential nutrient to the body in order for proper function within the body.  Fats have received a horrible, undeserved reputation of being “bad.”  The truth is that fats are essential for your body to function properly.  Fats and even cholesterol is in every single cell in your body.  Every cell in our body is surrounded by a fat and cholesterol membrane.  Cholesterol is a vital element that affects structure, thickness, permeability and formation of the cells.

Fats and oils are both lipids, however fats are solid at room temperature and oils are liquid.  Both are composed of fatty acids and are put into three different types of lipids depending on their saturation: saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated.  Fatty acids are made of carbon and hydrogen and hooked together in a chain.  Saturated fats are saturated with as many bonded hydrogen molecules as possible.   Monosaturated fatty acids have two of the hydrogen molecules “removed.”  Polysaturated fats means that more than one pairs of hydrogen atoms are missing.  Unsaturated fats simply mean that the fat does not have all the hydrogen atoms; it could be either monosaturated or polysaturated.  See the illustration below.

To say that a fat is saturated, monosaturated, or polysaturated is a tall tale.  Every fat contains some of all three types, but people classify lipids based on the majority of which fat is in the product.  Below is a list of the different classifications of fats.

Polyunsaturated Monounsaturated Saturated
Safflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Seeds

Soybean Oil

Soybeans

Tofu

Margarine

Mayonnaise

Low-fat mayonnaise

Salad dressings

Pecans

Hazelnuts

Fish

Cottonseed Oil

Corn Oil

Olive Oil

Olives

Canola Oil

Canola Seeds

Avocado Oil

Avocados

Peanut Oil

Peanuts

Peanut Butter

Salad dressings

Cashew nuts

Coconut oil

Coconut

Palm Oil

Palm Kernel Oil

Cocoa Butter

Butter

Cheese

Low-fat cheese

Chocolate

Lard

Beef

Chicken

Turkey

Hydrogenated Fat

Vegetable Shortening

Whole, 2 & 1%   milk

Cream

Non-dairy   substitutes

Bacon

 

References:

Fife, Bruce, N.D. “Stop Alzheimer’s Now!” 2011. Colorado. Piccadilly Books. Ltd.

Bay Area Nutrition. “Types of Fats” 2011. http://www.bayareanutrition.com/articles/typesoffats.html

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