Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A story about fats

Essential fatty acids(EFA)

It is required by humans but cannot be synthesized inside the body. e.g. - α-linolenic acid (ω-3, pronounced as omega-3), linolenic acid (ω-6, pronounced as omega-6) are primary EFAs. Others include γ-linolenic acid (ω-6), lauric acid (saturated fatty acid).

Unsaturated fat

In cellular metabolism unsaturated fat contains less energy than equavalent amount of saturated fat. The greater degree of unsaturation in a fatty acid (more double bonds) makes it vulnerable to lipid peroxidation (LPOX). LPOX is a method where free radicals steal electrons from lipids in a cell membrane causing cell damage. It ruptures RBCs and the end products are mutagenic and carcinogenic. Antioxidants can protect from LPOX. So it is better to take antioxidants along with unsaturated fats.

Insulin Resistance

There is a direct correlatopn between “Insulin resistance” and “inlfammation” and there is also correlation between “inflammation” and “fat ratio” ω-3/ω-6. ω-3 and ω-9 are anti-inflammatory while ω-6 is pro-inflammatory. Saturated fats increase insulin resistance.

Trans fat

It is an unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid. Consumption of trans-fat increases risk of coronery heart disease by raising the LDL/HDL ratio. This is one unsaturated fatty acid that is bad for the body.

Saturated fat

It consists of triglycerides containing only fatty acids (single bonds, no double bonds) e.g. cream, cheese, butter, ghee, coconut oil.

Refined carbohydrates : Good carbs and bad carbs

Good carbs : Absorbed slowly, avoids spike in blood sugar levels. e.g. - whole grains, vegetables, fruits. A word of caution. Some vegetables contains raffinose which would cause gas and bloating and severe discomfort. So people with sensitive intestine should avoid the such vegetables. Cabbages, legumes like pea, broccoli are prime example.

Carrots are very safe to eat.

Bad carbs: Releases sugar fast into bloodstream. e.g. white rice, white bread, cane sugar.

Reference : webmd.com/food-recipes/features/carbohydrates

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