Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Unsaturated fatty acid

Unsaturated fatty acid (UFA), such as monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), can have positive health benefits when consumed in sufficient quantities. Actually there so many fat types and certain types have benefits for heart health?
Classification of fats and oils can be viewed from several aspects, one of which is its saturation aspect. They can be distinguished based on its double bonds. Saturated (SFA) if it doesn’t has any double bond and unsaturated if it has one, two or three double bonds.
Examples of unsaturated fat
There are so many kind of agricultural product which contain high UFA, such as sunflower, canola, olive, soybean, peanut, flax seed, and fish oil.
The examples mentioned above, more specifically also contain high essential fatty acids - linoleic acid (Omega 6), alpha linoleic acid (Omega 3) and arachidonic acid. The scientists found that they proved to have several important benefits such as helping the body burn the fat, lower bad cholesterol (LDL), helps in the lubrication of joints, prevent strokes, maintaining blood pressure, and optimize brain health.
Unsaturated fat benefits
Is good fat really exist? We always have long been told to limit the amount of fat in our diet in order to keep our cholesterol levels. The fact is, we need a certain amount of them in our diets. It helps us absorb essential vitamins like A, D, E, and K
A study by Grundy from the Faculty of Medicine, California, USA, proves that the body's cholesterol levels may go down if the diet contains more MUFA and PUFA than SFA. Dietary SFA for a month proved to raise cholesterol levels. While the dietary MUFA, dropped it sharply, including LDL and HDL. In dietary PUFA, LDL and total cholesterol decreased, while HDL relatively unchanged.
PUFA are known to increase the intelligence and the immune system of children under five. Long chain unsaturated fatty acid (especially the omega - 3 DHA) have been shown to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of blocked arteries (atherosclerosis), thrombosis, hypertriglyceridemia, and high blood pressure. It has the potential for prevention and treatment of asthma, arthritis, migraine, and some types of cancer which is prostate, breast and colon cancer.
Unsaturated fat types
Most of UFA are fatty acids containing one double bond in their hydrocarbon chain. Fatty acids with more than one double bond are unusual, mainly found in vegetable oil, and called by PUFA. Polyunsaturated triglycerides tend to form oil.
PUFA can lower total blood cholesterol, especially LDL. If you want to consume this, you can be choose fish, seafood, safflower oil (Carthamus tinctorius), and sun flower oil. MUFA can reduce the presence of bad fats in the blood, such as cholesterol. By consuming them, HDL rises and LDL cholesterol goes down. So, it is good to be eaten for health. It is contained in olive oil, canola oil peanut oils, meat, fish, poultry, and avocado.
Unsaturated fat health risk
Although it is considered as a good fat, excessive consumption of UFA remain dangerous. If the total fat intake is more than 30 percent of food consumed, fat deposits in the body will increase. It increases the risk factor of increased blood fat that can cause heart and blood vessel disease. UFA forms the cell wall of the body. Consumption of high UFA should be followed by adequate intake of antioxidants such as vitamin E.
SFA, UFA, and trans would enhance the body's calorie. The public still considers only SFA which is bad for health, which are widely found in meat and its derivative products and fried foods. Each 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, whereas 1 gram of starchy produces only 4 calories.
In addition to long chain SFA, trans fats is also bad for health. These are produced through industrial processes, such as margarine and cooking oil. In food packaging, it is called as hydrogenated fat. They do not only increase LDL, but also lowers the amount of good cholesterol. Unlike the SFA that only increase LDL.
The role of unsaturated fatty acid need to be studied further to ensure the influence of food and agricultural products that contain these components on human health.

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