Fat is presumed as unhealthy. Fat is healthy too, as it stores energy that body can use later on. A certain amount of fat is essential for body’s natural processes, whereas excess fat can be bad in number of ways. Trans fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat and body fat can causes several changes in our body functioning.
Classification of Fats and its Functions
- Trans Fats: Consumption of unsaturated fats is good for our body, but only in moderation. Trans fat have essential fatty acids that are necessary to carry out body functions. If trans fat go through hydrogenation process, these are bad for body functions as it increase the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in bloodstream. Increase in level of LDL block arteries and raises the concern for coronary heart disease.
- Saturated Fats: Saturated fats, mostly derived from animal sources (red meat, beef, pork, lamb, chicken and duck), have been associated with condition of high cholesterol and coronary artery diseases. Increased intake of saturated fats can also contribute to obesity.
- Unsaturated Fats: Unsaturated fat helps to improve blood cholesterol levels, promoting heart health and decreasing the risk of type 3 diabetes. Though these fats are considered benefactor of health, too much of unsaturated fat is not recommended owing to health risks such as obesity.
- Body Fat: Body accumulates fat as a result of excess calories consumed from diet. Fat is used up by the body for energy but also uses for insulation and shock absorption, especially around organs. Our body needs a bare minimum body fat to regulate hormone production.
Importance of Fats
Body process gets interrupted due to insufficiency of needed-fat content. Besides transportation of vitamins throughout the body, fats have a major role in energy production and regulation of cholesterol levels. Lack of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) makes it difficult for a body to absorb calcium, producing hormones and blood circulation. Inadequate fat consumption may result in conditions such as anaemia, brittle bones and rickets.
Effects of Inappropriate Fat Consumption
- Too much body fat may hamper functioning of cardiovascular system.
- Excess dietary fat makes one prone to accumulate unnecessary weight (obesity), which alleviates susceptibility to various diseases, especially diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.
- Insufficient body fat also has a negative impact as body is not able to maintain vital processes.
- Hormones produced from fat can also interfere with the normal balance of hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin), and lead to conditions such as loss of appetite.
- Insulin sensitivity and clogging arteries are other complications associated with inappropriate consumption of fats.