Unsaturated fatty acids in foods

Science 2023

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Unsaturated fatty acids in foods
Unsaturated fatty acids in foods
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The human body is created from living tissues, which during the life process not only perform their functions, but also recover from damage, while maintaining their performance and strength. Of course, they require nutrients to do so.

unsaturated fatty acids

Human nutritional balance

Food provides the body with the energy it needs to support all bodily processes, especially muscle function, growth and tissue renewal. It should be remembered that the main thing in proper nutrition is balance. Balance is the optimal combination of products from the five groups necessary for human nutrition:

  • dairy products;
  • fat-enriched food;
  • cereals and potatoes;
  • vegetables and fruits;
  • protein food.

Types of fatty acids

Separate saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The latter are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Saturated fatty acids are present in butter and hard margarines, polyunsaturated fatty acids are present in vegetable oil, fishfoods and some soft margarines. Monounsaturated acids are found in rapeseed, linseed and olive oils. The most necessary and he althy among them are the last ones.

Effects of unsaturated fatty acids on he alth

They have antioxidant properties and protect blood cholesterol from oxidation. The recommended intake of polyunsaturated acids is about 7% of the daily portion and monounsaturated - 10-15%.

saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

Unsaturated fatty acids are necessary for the normal functioning of the whole organism. Omega-3 and Omega-6 complexes are considered the most valuable of them. They are not synthesized independently in the human body, but are vital for it. Therefore, you should definitely include them in your diet, choosing the most optimal foods rich in these substances.

Properties of Omega acids

Dietitians have long been interested in the functions of Omega-3 acids and their derivatives - prostaglandins. They tend to turn into mediator molecules that stimulate or suppress inflammation, are very useful for swelling of the joints, muscle pain, bone pain, which is often noted in the elderly. Unsaturated fatty acids strengthen the immune system, alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

omega unsaturated acids

They improve bone mineralization, while increasing their density and strength. In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for the heart and blood vessels. More complexes Omega-unsaturated acids are successfully used for cosmetic purposes in the form of a dietary supplement, they have a positive effect on skin he alth. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids differ in their dietary properties: unsaturated fats have fewer calories than the same amount of saturated fats. The chemical molecules of Omega-3 are paired with 3 carbon atoms and methyl carbon, and Omega-6 are paired with six carbon atoms with methyl carbon. Omega-6 fatty acids are most found in vegetable oils, as well as in all varieties of nuts.

Foods high in unsaturated fatty acids

Marine fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-unsaturated fatty acids. Their vegetable counterparts include linseed and rapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, and various types of nuts. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Linseed oil can completely replace it.

omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids

The best source of these substances is oily fish like mackerel, but there are many ways to introduce unsaturated fatty acids into your diet.

  1. Buy omega-3 fortified foods. Now they are often added to bread, milk and cereal bars.
  2. Use linseed oil, replacing sunflower and butter. Add ground flaxseed to baking flour, salads, soups, cereals, yogurts and mousses.
  3. Include nuts in your diet, in particular walnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts and others.
  4. Add unrefined olive oil toany food. It not only saturates the body with essential acids, but also helps to digest food.

Unsaturated fatty acids should be used with caution in patients with diabetes or taking anticoagulants. May affect blood clotting and sugar regulation. Pregnant women should not take fish oil, because it contains a lot of vitamin A, which is dangerous for the intrauterine development of the fetus.

Unsaturated fatty acids in foods

Monounsaturated acids are generous:

  • fish oil;
  • olives;
  • avocado;
  • vegetable oils.

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • nuts;
  • seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame;
  • soy;
  • fatty fish;
  • corn, cottonseed, sunflower, soybean and linseed oils.

Saturated fats aren't as bad as people think they are, and you shouldn't cut them out completely. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be the main ones in the daily portion of fat, and are needed by the body from time to time, as they promote the absorption of proteins, fiber, and improve the functioning of sex hormones. If fats are completely removed from their diet, memory functions are weakened.

trans isomers of unsaturated fatty acids

Trans isomers in the food we eat

During the preparation of margarine, unsaturated vegetable fats are modified under the influence of high temperatures, causing transisomerization of molecules. All organic substances have a specific geometric structure. When solidifyingmargarine, cis-isomers turn into trans-isomers, which affect the metabolism of linolenic acid and provoke an increase in the level of bad cholesterol, causing heart and vascular diseases. Oncologists claim that trans-isomers of unsaturated fatty acids provoke cancer.

Which foods contain the most trans isomers?

Of course, there are a lot of them in fast food cooked in a lot of fat. For example, chips contain about 30%, and french fries - more than 40%.

In confectionery products, trans-isomers of unsaturated fatty acids range from 30 to 50%. In margarines, their amount reaches 25-30%. In mixed fats, during the frying process, 33% of mutational molecules are formed, since during reheating, the molecules are transformed, which accelerates the formation of trans isomers. If margarine contains about 24% of trans-isomers, then in the process of frying their level increases significantly. Raw oils of vegetable origin contain up to 1% of trans-isomers, in butter they are about 4-8%. In animal fats, trans isomers range from 2% to 10%. Remember that trans fats are trash and should be avoided entirely.

unsaturated fatty acids in foods

The effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids on the human body has not yet been fully studied, but it is now obvious that for a he althy active life, a person must include foods containing unsaturated fatty acids in his diet.

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