Fats in Nutrition | Types of Fats & Sources

Fats in Nutrition are an essential component in our diet and nutrition like proteins, and carbohydrates and we cannot live without fats. Our bodies need a small of amounts good fats for proper function and to prevent a lot of diseases. So, in this guide, we will know about what are fats in nutrition? types of Fats, benefits and the side effects of fats one by one.

What are Fats in nutrition?

Fats are esters of fatty acids with glycerols and it is also a mixture of lipids. Fats are made up of three molecules such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms joined together. The general formula for fat is C57H110O8. Fats are an essential part of our diet which on an average an adult needs about 75-100 grams of fats and it is important for good health.
1 gram of fat provides 9.3 kilocalories on complete combustion which is about 2.25 times more than energy provided by the same amount of glucose. 
Fats in Nutrition, Fats Definition, Types of Fats and their sources
Fats in Nutrition

Types of Fats

There are two types of fatty acids. They are:
1. Saturated Fats: If fats have no any double bond between the carbons of the molecular chain, they are called saturated fats. Examples of saturated fats are Palmitic acid and Stearic acid. If you eat a greater amount of saturated fats in your diet, it will increase the risk of heart disease and high blood Cholesterol level. Therefore, they are called Bad fats. These fats are generally solid at room temperature. These saturated fats are also called lipid.
Saturated fats are unhealthy.

Source of Saturated Fats
Saturated Fats are found in both animal and plant foods.
Animal-based product: Meat, Chicken skin.
Plant-based product: Palm oil, Coconut, Coconut milk, and cream.
Dairy foods: Butter, Cream, Milk, and Cheese.
Packaged foods: Potato chips, Hot chips, Pizza, Cakes, and Sweet biscuits.

2. Unsaturated Fats: If Fats have one or more double bonds between the carbons of the chain, they are unsaturated fats. For example oleic acid. These fats help to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the cholesterol level. Therefore, Unsaturated fats are also called Good fats.

There are two main types of Unsaturated fats:
1. Mono-Unsaturated Fats: Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, canola oils, some nuts such as cashews, peanuts, and almonds.

2. Poly-Unsaturated fats: Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish oil(omega -3), canola oil, soybean oil etc.

Trans Fats

When healthy fat such as soybean oil or olive oil goes through a chemical process called partial hydrogenation i.e, hydrogen atoms are added to the oil, trans fats are produced. It damages to the function of the cell membranes, increases the insulin levels in the blood, increases the level of cholesterol. Trans Fats also weakens the immunity system.  

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance or lipid. It is also a sterol, from which steroid hormones are formed. Cholesterol flows through our bloodstream but it will not dissolve into the bloodstream. Cholesterol plays an important role to maintain the certain bodies functions. It can also pose serious health disease if it damages blood vessels. 

Everyone needs a certain amount of cholesterol in order to survive. because cholesterol plays an important role in hormone production but a person has high cholesterol often has health problems that can contribute to the development of many serious diseases like heart disease, Obesity, Diabetes, High-blood pressure etc. The main cause of high cholesterol in your body is to take high-fat diets.

Your blood cholesterol level is determined by the sum of how much cholesterol your body makes and how much you take from food, minus how much your body uses up.    

Benefits of Fats

Fats are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Fat provides essential fatty acids which are not made by the body. We get these fatty acids through the foods. We need linoleic(or Omega-6) and alpha-linolenic(or Omega-3) fatty acids which are essential for controlling the swelling, clotting of blood, and the development of the brain. Fat also serves to store extra calories in the body and it is also important for providing a good source of energy. 
Fats help to keep healthy our hair and skin. Fats help to absorb Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin from our blood and also help in their blood circulation properly.

Side effect of Fats

When you will eat food having too much fat, it will increase the risk of heart disease and level of cholesterol. Too much eating fats increase the amount of calorie in our body due to which You may also have the problems of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
The consumption of high amounts of Polyunsaturated fats also leads to some type of risk but If you take fewer amounts of fats in your daily diet, they reduce the risk of serious diseases to be like heart disease and cancer.

How many grams of Fat do you need per day?

How many grams of fat should you take in your daily diet? It depends on your total daily calories. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fats. That is if you need 2000 calories per day, you should get 20 to 35 percent calories from fats because 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. The recommended daily allowance of fat for 1500 calories and 2500 calories diets are 33 to 58 grams and 56 to 97 grams, respectively.

The recommended daily allowance of Fats for a woman is  60 to 70 grams per day whereas for men is 80 to 90 grams per day. 5 to 10 years old children need 70 grams fats daily.

Final words:
I hope that this article helps you to know about the basic knowledge of Fats in nutrition, types of Fats, and their Sources, Benefits and side effect.