What is Saturated Fat? Are Saturated Fatty Acids Harmful?

What is Saturated Fat

Fats, which dieters avoid due to their high energy, are important and essential nutrients for the body. The most important task of fats in the body is to ensure the use of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, D and K.

It helps to protect heart health and also regulates the work of hormones secreted in the body against the risk of osteoporosis. It also protects the body against impacts by taking place around the organs and helps to maintain body temperature.

One gram of fat, which is the most important source necessary for the human body to perform its functions, contains approximately 9 calories. At least 25-30% of the daily calories should come from fats.

The type of oil consumed is as important as the amount of consumption:  Oils are classified according to the number of carbons in their content and the double bond between the carbons. Fatty acids, which are divided into 3 as long, medium or short chain according to the number of carbons, are divided into two as saturated fat and unsaturated fat according to the double bond between the carbons.

The body, which has unlimited fat storage capacity, uses the fat it receives from food as energy and stores the excess. It uses tank oils when needed.

What is Saturated Fat?

There is a single bond between the carbons in the structure of saturated fatty acids, which are rich in hydrogen. The combination of saturated fatty acids with glycerol forms saturated fats. Saturated fatty acid butyric acid, Arachidonic acid, Citric acid, Palmitic acid, Myristic acid, Lauric acid, which are found in butter and create its unique flavor, can be given as examples of saturated fats.

Saturated fats are found in solid or semi-solid foods. All of the carbon bonds that make up the chains of fatty acids that make up saturated fats are hydrogen bonded. Although no saturated fat is taken with food, the body can synthesize saturated fat from molecules formed as a result of protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Since it is not an essential fatty acid for the body, not taking it with food is not an important deficiency.

So, is olive oil saturated fat? Olive oil is a type of oil containing polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and 14% saturated fatty acids. Olive oil, which has important functions in the regular fulfillment of body functions, can be harmful when consumed excessively due to the saturated fatty acids in its content. Because of its high calories, it can cause weight gain and also increase inflammation. It reduces the fluidity of the blood by causing blockage in the blood vessels and may cause problems such as atherosclerosis.

What Are the Properties of Saturated Fats?

All carbon atoms in saturated fats are filled with hydrogen. Therefore, they are solid or semi-solid at room temperature. They take a long time to be metabolized by the body.

Due to the properties of saturated fats, they are more suitable for storage rather than being used as energy. Saturated fats, which can deteriorate very quickly due to pathogenic bacteria if not stored in appropriate conditions, should be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool, moisture-free, dark place with their mouths closed.

Saturated fats stored at room temperature are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids with the effect of temperature and bacteria. The released fatty acids form different compounds with the support of bacteria. The new compounds formed make the oil taste bitter and can also threaten health by spoiling its flavor.

Saturated fats change their structure when exposed to high heat. In the face of this situation, which is called fuming or burning, saturated fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol and form new compounds. These new components are carcinogenic substances that threaten human health. For this reason, it is recommended to cook dishes cooked with saturated fats at low temperatures and slowly.

Which Foods Have Saturated Fat?

Although there are high levels of saturated fatty acids in foods of animal origin, almost all fats contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, albeit in small amounts.

  • All kinds of red meat, especially veal, sheep, beef and goat meat , is a rich source of saturated fat.
  • Skins and offal of poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck are also rich in saturated fat.
  • Foods such as cheese, cream, butter and yogurt prepared using whole milk , and egg yolk are also sources of saturated fat.
  • In addition to these, palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, lard, palm oil and cocoa butter are among the foods containing plant-derived saturated fat.
  • Also peanut oil, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil and olive oil also contains even a small amount of saturated fat.

So, is saturated fat halal? The meat consumed generally in our country is obtained from halal slaughtered and religiously permitted animals. Religiously unsuitable pork is also a food rich in saturated fat. However, since the products purchased contain the phrase pork, it does not pose any religious problems.

Is Saturated Fat Harmful?

It is important to get saturated and unsaturated fats in a healthy diet program. The point to be considered is the amount of these oils. It is appropriate to get 10% of the daily energy from solid fats, that is, from saturated fats.

Saturated fats taken in excess of the recommended amount can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Saturated fats cause LDL, known as bad cholesterol, to increase in the body and accumulate in the arteries. At the same time, body total cholesterol rises. Cholesterol accumulated in the arteries reduces blood flow to the heart, tiring the heart and increasing the risk of heart attack. At the same time, cholesterol accumulated in the veins causes an increase in blood pressure and increases the risk of high blood pressure.

It can cause health problems such as type 2 diabetes and obesity by causing the development of insulin resistance. In addition, free radicals formed as a result of the metabolism of highly consumed saturated fats support the formation of cancer cells. Since there is a high level of saturated fat in foods of animal origin, extra fat should not be added to dishes prepared with meat.

Excessive consumption of foods of animal origin also causes high protein intake. This increases the risk of kidney diseases and joint diseases such as gout. The accumulation of excess water in the body and the formation of edema can also be counted among the harms of saturated fat.

Does Saturated Fat Make You Weight?

Saturated fats, like other types of fat, have 9 calories per gram. In a healthy diet program, no more than 10% of daily calories should come from saturated fats. In the diet of a person consuming an average of 2000 calories per day, the amount of calories from saturated fat can be 140 at most. Considering this amount, the maximum amount of saturated fat to be taken daily should be between 15-20 grams. Consuming more than the recommended amount of saturated fat, as it contains a high amount of calories, causes the storage of excess fat.

Saturated fats, which are very difficult to metabolize, are the most important reason for regional weight gain. Adipose tissue is the areas where toxic substances and excess water in the body settle most easily. As the adipose tissue increases, the amount of toxin in the body and edema also increase. Toxins and edema slow down the body’s metabolic rate. It also affects the appetite center by creating insulin resistance. As a result of insulin resistance, the satiety center cannot fully perform its task and the desire to eat more occurs.

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